[CHICAGO] – Today, Alderman Howard Brookins (21st ward) and airport workers are taking a step to question inequality at Chicago’s airports. Alderman Brookins is introducing a resolution in today’s City Council meeting that highlights the disparity between the working conditions for airport workers at O’Hare Airport, versus workers at Midway Airport.
“Unless there’s some reasonable justification, people who work for the same company, in the same city, should be paid the same wages,” said Alderman Brookins, leader of the City Council’s Black Caucus.
The resolution calls for a hearing to examine why Hudson News, a retail operator at both airports, is not treating all of its workers equally. Hudson News workers at O’Hare Airport earn, on average, $1.13 more than their counterparts at Midway Airport. Furthermore, Hudson News workers at O’Hare Airport have a pension and job security, while Hudson News workers at Midway Airport do not have either.
“As an airport worker on the South Side, I feel like we’re not being treated with respect because we’re not being treated equally,” said Ovidio Jimenez, a Hudson News employee at Midway Airport for six years.
Airport workers from both O’Hare and Midway airports, who believe that all airport workers should be treated equally, joined Alderman Brookins today to support the resolution.
“I know that airport workers on the South Side work hard and depend on their jobs, just like I do,” said Margaret Shields, Hudson News employee at O’Hare Airport for two years. “And I believe they deserve the same benefits and job security that workers on the North Side get.”
UNITE HERE Local 1, Chicago’s hospitality workers union, represents over 15,000 airport, hotel, and food service workers in Chicago and casino workers in Northwest Indiana.