BWI workers rally for unionization amid government shutdown
By Christina Tkacik
The Baltimore Sun|
Jan 16, 2019 at 7:35 PM
Workers at BWI hold a rally protesting their wages and calling for an end to the government shutdown. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun video)
Jim Burns joined a union when he began working as a ground refueler at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport 18 years ago. But in 2008, he said, workers lost union representation and, with that, raises holidays, vacation time and other benefits.
“We’re underpaid, understaffed and overworked,” Burns said.
On Wednesday, Burns and other local employees with Menzies Aviation, the company that handles refueling and other services at the airport, demonstrated outside to push their employer to recognize their union.
They also called for an end to the federal government shutdown that’s meant Transportation Security Administration employees at the airport and others across the nation have gone weeks without receiving pay.
“We have Menzies workers who are underpaid working side by side with TSA workers who are not getting paid,” said Jaime Contreras, vice president at 32BJ Service Employees International Union, the union chapter workers are hoping to join.