Together with hundreds of their supporters from across the Mid-Atlantic region, concessions workers at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport marched in Annapolis on Thursday, March 13th, calling for immediate action on the part of the State of Maryland and BWI concessions developer AirMall USA to ensure that the over 800 Marylanders who work in the airport’s food and retail outlets receive the same pay as the lowest pay of state employees at the airport.
“For over a year, my co-workers at the airport and I have been sharing our stories with our elected officials here in Annapolis,” said Evelyne Diadhiou, a server at BWI’s Silver Diner, “We’ve made it clear that many of us are unable to provide for ourselves and our families because of insufficient wages, and we’ve asked for them to take action. In response, we’ve heard over and over that ‘something needs to be done,’ and we’re marching today in Annapolis to demand that it finally happens. We need change at BWI. Not tomorrow, not ‘someday.’ Right now.”
During the march, a group of 14 workers and supporters–including members of Interfaith Worker Justice of Maryland–donned signs reading “I Am Equal” in homage to the iconic “I Am A Man” signs carried by Memphis sanitation workers at the height of the civil rights movement. Following the march and rally on Lawyer’s Mall, those 14 individuals were arrested after taking part in a civil disobedience action on the State House steps.
Members of Local 100 in New York City, UNITE HERE Philadelphia and Local 23 in Washington, D.C. all made the trip to Annapolis to show their solidarity with workers at BWI.
- "BWI concession workers arrested at Annapolis protest," Baltimore Brew
- "Union protesters arrested at State House," Maryland Reporter
- "Airport workers protest at State House," WBAL-Radio
- "BWI concessions workers protest for higher wages," WBAL-TV
- "14 arrested at rally for BWI worker wages," WYPR