- Caretakers at Denver International Airport have voted to strike over pay and workload.
- A shortage of labor at the airport will get worse due to low wages, the janitors said according to the SEIU union.
- A guard at Denver Airport earns about $ 17 an hour, a SEIU spokesman told the Denver Post.
Hundreds of janitors working at Denver International Airport voted Wednesday to strike for better pay and workloads, a union announced Thursday.
Service staff International Union (SEIU) Local 105 said in a statement that 99% of the 350 janitors and union members who took part in a three-day vote supported a strike. The guards work for Flagship Aviation Services, a contractor that won the airport contract in Denver in March.
“We put ourselves at risk every day to keep this airport running through COVID, “said Densley Philbert, a janitor at Denver Airport, in the statement.
“We are sick of being understaffed, overworked, underpaid and underestimated for our work. We are ready to do what is required of our families, including the strike, to get the reasonable wages and respect we deserve for the services we provide. we deliver, “said Philbert. He has worked at the airport for 16 years, according to the statement.
Flagship had not entered into a fair contract with the airport guards after weeks of discussions, the union said in its statement. The guards’ current contracts expire on Thursday, and a potential strike could start as early as Friday if no agreement is reached, SEIU said.
Airport guards are currently earning about $ 17 an hour, a SEIU spokesman told the Denver Post. The spokesman said the janitors wanted to make sure their wages were commensurate with the rising cost of living.
Local media have reported that Denver Airport is suffering from a shortage of workers, causing long queues and delays. The airport hosted a job fair on Wednesday to fill nearly 1,500 vacancies.
Companies across the United States say they are struggling with labor shortages, and some argue that employees no longer want to work — but workers say they refuse to take low-wage jobs in such a competitive labor market and seek better benefits and working conditions.
Solita Sualau, a caretaker at Denver Airport, said in the statement that strike “is not something any of us want to do, but if Flagship continues to refuse to value our important work, we will do what is required of to get the respect we deserve and make these jobs good and viable wage jobs in our society. “
Insider asked Flagship and Denver International Airport for comment, but did not immediately hear outside opening hours.
Staff shortages at the airport will be exacerbated because low wages hold new hires, caretakers said, according to the SEIU statement.