Houston Chronicle (TNS) Photo: (Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )
Feb 12th, 2020
Roughly 2,500 catering workers, including some 780 in Houston, joined the Unite Here union in late 2018 but don’t yet have a contract with United Airlines. Seeking higher wages and frustrated with the pace of negotiations, the workers will fast for 24 hours this week and picket outside of United’s downtown office on Thursday and outside of Bush Intercontinental Airport on Friday.
Last year, the catering workers in Newark, Houston, Denver and Honolulu voted to authorize a strike. The workers joined 18,000 others at two of the largest U.S. airline catering subcontractors, Gate Gourmet and LSG Sky Chefs, subcontractors for airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United, who also voted to authorize strikes against their employers. Gate Gourmet and LSG Sky Chefs workers are represented by Unite Here and other unions.
United Airlines said it remained focused on reaching a “competitive collective bargaining agreement.” It started negotiating with Unite Here in March and continued through November, when Unite Here requested mediation with the National Mediation Board.
“We will soon meet for mediation session and we will follow the Board’s direction on next steps,” the airline said.