We were taking a trip to support more than 6,000 airline catering workers working in facilities across the country. These workers have been bargaining a contract for a year and half with airline caterer SkyChefs, and Lufthansa is the caterer’s parent company. Our mission: meet up at Lufthansa’s New York headquarters and send a strong, simple message from SkyChefs workers and supporters: “Settle a Contract Now!”
The day before our trip, our members signed banners in preparation for the event. This way, workers in New York and across the nation would know that Local 7 members in Baltimore were with them all the way! We loaded the banners, drums, and bullhorn and began our trip.
Several hours later, we arrived and mingled with our sisters and brothers in the struggle. There were workers from all over the country – hundreds of people were at the rally! We learned about the SkyChefs workers’ fight and were able to share in the victories of our campaigns.
We marched from Islanders Arena chanting as supporters drove by honking in solidarity. As we arrived at the Lufthansa headquarters, forming a line a quarter mile long, Lufthansa executives watched with anxious eyes. Chanting in unison, our presence was felt as passing vehicles cheered us on.
We continued to the park across the street in plain sight of the Lufthansa executives and joined two busloads of SkyChefs workers. We got to hear their stories of the injustices they are facing in their struggle against the bosses. Listening to their speeches, we were reminded that we have so much in common in our respective workplaces.
After the inspirational speeches of SkyChefs workers from all across the nation, we broke into the chant “We’ll Be Back!” and returned to our respective cities to share our New York experience with our own locals. Rallying together with our brothers and sisters across UNITE HERE was such an incredible reminder that their fight is our fight, and we have to keep supporting one another. We arrived in Baltimore with a renewed energy and motivation to continue to organize against the boss.
– Summer Organizers, Baltimore