Airport food workers ratify first contract [Minneapolis-St. Paul airport]


3 March 2013

BLOOMINGTON – new bargaining unit of 100 restaurant and food service workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport has ratified a first-time contract.

UNITE HERE Local 17 organized the workers under a national neutrality agreement with SSP America, which operates airport food concessions at 140 airports and 250 rail stations worldwide.

“It took us a while to organize them,” reported Martin Goff, Local 17 senior vice president. But after a pause in the organizing effort, he related, nearly 80 percent of the workers signed union authorization cards.

The new three-year agreement provides workers with pay raises, daily over-time, holiday pay, and paid vacation.

The agreement also includes seniority rights and a grievance and arbitration procedure for the workers.

“What they really wanted was the healthcare,” Goff said. With the new contract, “people will pay $18 per month for full 100 percent coverage and the employer pays the rest… It’s the same coverage we have for HMSHost,” another company operating airport food concessions.

Reprinted from the Labor Review, the official publication of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation.

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