The laws are stacked against organizing labor, so it doesn't happen too often anymore, but today more than 1,000 Sea-Tac Airport contract workers will announce that they have formed a union, before marching to Alaska Airlines headquarters to demand that the airline instruct its contractors to negotiate with workers. Nearly all of these cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, wheelchair assistants, and skycaps earn less than $10 an hour.
A recent report found that Sea-Tac has the worst working conditions of any major West Coast airport. On average, workers there now earn 40 percent less in inflation adjusted dollars than they did back in 2005 before Alaska contracted out their jobs.
Sea-Tac workers with Menzies, BAGS Inc., Delta Global Services, and AirServe have voted to form unions with SEIU Local 6; workers at ground transportation company GCA have formed a union with Teamsters Local 117.