For immediate release
April 14, 2015
Hundreds of Airline Food Workers on Strike Today at LAX
Work stoppage at Flying Food Group could affect meal service of several international airlines
In response to unresolved complaints regarding insufficient staff and equipment at their workplace, hundreds of employees at airline caterer Flying Food Group began a one-day strike Tuesday at 4am. Today’s strike could have implications for Flying Food Group’s airline clients, including flight delays or reduced onboard food and beverage service.
LA’s imminent high travel season means more and fuller flights through LAX, and with them a demand for more inflight meals. The employees who prepare, pack and deliver those meals say their company has not accounted for adding more work to a labor force that is already stretched too thin.
“Adding just one more flight to our workload can mean a thousand more meals for us to prepare,” said Morena Henriquez, who works as a packer, “Sometimes four people are expected to do the work of seven, so even before the busy season we were working 12 to 15 hour days inside of a 30º cooler to get it all done. We’re striking because we’ve told the company over and over that we need more staff, but they’ve done nothing.”
Workers also say that they don’t have enough equipment — including utensils, meal ingredients and machinery — to do their jobs.
“I work plating meals in the Hot Food department, and we use equipment like racks, trays and pans,” said Gloria Luna, a nine-year employee at Flying Food, “I dread going in to work sometimes because we don’t have what we need. There are times when there aren’t even tables to work on. When we don’t have the proper tools to work with, we fall behind, that that can cause flight delays.”
Airlines with flights potentially be affected by today’s strike include Aeroflot, Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, China Airlines, China Southern, Etihad, Japan Airlines, KLM, Thai Airways and Virgin Australia.