For immediate release
December 4, 2017
Historic Victory was Led by Airport Concessions Workers, Members of UNITE HERE Local 23
ATLANTA – Atlanta City Council voted today in favor of a ‘Worker Retention’ ordinance for ATL Airport’s contracted service workers, a decision that followed over six months of advocacy from the workers who will be affected by the bill. The ordinance will provide meaningful job security for thousands of airport workers who live and work in Atlanta.
This morning, dozens of airport concessions workers rallied at City Hall in a final push to encourage City Council to vote yes on the measure.
“The job security that this Worker Retention ordinance will provide is incredibly important to me and my family,” said Robert Davis, a bartender at ATL’s Café Intermezzo and member of the labor union UNITE HERE Local 23, “Before the ordinance passed today, there was a real chance that I could have lost my job when my employer’s contract with the City expires next year. That was scary, because I work to support my daughter. With this victory, now I know that my job is safe, and that I’ll continue to be able to provide for my family and keep the lifestyle that I’ve worked hard for.”
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the largest place of employment in the state of Georgia with over 63,000 people working there. Until today, its contracted service workers had little-to-no job security. A changeover in contractor could result in large-scale displacement for that company’s employees, even when their employer was replaced by another company that performed the exact same service. The ‘Worker Retention’ ordinance for ATL Airport’s service contract workers ensures that qualified displaced workers get first opportunity to work the new job.
Mayor Kasim Reed worked closely with UNITE HERE Local 23 in supporting the ordinance. His leadership was critical in building support for the bill on City Council.
“Winning Worker Retention at ATL is a great step towards making our airport a better place to work, and a true victory for workers in Atlanta,” said Jasmine Riggs who works an airport concessions job for Areas USA. “Thank you Mayor Reed and members of our City Council for listening to the issues that affect us and taking action to provide us with real job security. Now there is more work to do. ATL Airport is a public institution, and contracted employees there should be making a living wage. We look forward to working with the next Mayor and new City Council to help ATL live up to its full potential as an economic engine for Atlanta.”