On December 17, workers from the world’s largest airline catering company protested their employer’s failure to negotiate in good faith, and its failure to address food safety issues.
Sky Chefs employees, who have been struggling to negotiate a reasonable contract with their employer for more than a year, rallied near the Sky Chefs factory in Los Angeles, where Sky Chefs employs about 500 workers who prepare in-flight food for several airlines that fly out of LAX. Nationwide the company employs about 7,000 workers.
Workers’ last contract was negotiated in 2006, when Sky Chefs was in financial trouble, and in order to keep the company solvent, workers accepted wage and benefit cuts. Now, Sky Chefs is again profitable, and workers are seeking to recoup some of the losses they experienced five years ago.
"In 2006, we sacrificed wages and benefits to keep the company alive, and now that the company is making money again, we need affordable healthcare," said Clara Meza, a Sky Chefs employee for 27 years and earns about $11 an hour. "Under Sky Chef’s proposal, I would not be able to afford healthcare for myself and my son, who has asthma and needs to be able to see a doctor. It’s unacceptable."