Chicago O’Hare International Airport Workers Strike for Higher Wages
Workers at O'Hare International Airport in the U.S. city of Chicago staged a strike on Tuesday to demand higher wages.
The striking workers, which consisted of contract employees by a number of airlines including baggage handlers, janitors, airplane cabin cleaners and wheelchair attendants, rallied at the airport to protest against low wages they receive in comparison to what regular employees have earned for many years.
Chicago's hourly minimum wage is currently at 10.50 U.S. dollars.
However, the protesters were demanding it be raised to 15 U.S. dollars an hour.
Some protesters said their wages are so low that they cannot even afford daily necessities "We're asking for better pay, equal to American Airlines. The people, we are working here with low pay, but the same work we're doing. That's why we are here," said Thomas, a protester.
Mary, another protester, said there are many workers who are working 60 hours a week with no overtime, with some even turning to public assistance to support their families.
"People are struggling. They're working 40, 60 hours. A lot of these people that are contract workers do not have benefits," she said.
The striking workers staged their protest between terminals 2 and 3 at O'Hare airport.
A large number of police were dispatched to maintain order and prevent chaos.
According to media reports, the strike was a part of nationwide protest on Tuesday known as "Day of Disruption" that involved workers from many industries demanding a raise in the minimum wage.
Source: Al Alam