Workers at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Strike Before Thanksgiving

Originally published in Travel Pulse News…DONALD WOOD | NOVEMBER 18, 2016

Workers at Chicago’s O'Hare Airport to Strike Before Thanksgiving

PHOTO: Line at O’Hare International Airport’s United rebooking desk. (Photo by Patrick Herrick)

On Thursday, workers at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago voted in favor of conducting a strike before the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to The Associated Press, officials from the Service Employees International Union Local 1 announced that an estimated 500 workers have committed to strike. The protests are coming after employees attempted to organize with the union’s help.

Union spokeswoman Izabela Miltko-Ivkovich told The AP that the strike “will definitely take place in the coming days,” but she didn’t expand on when exactly the protests would begin.

“They don’t expect to shut the airport down,” SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff said in a statement. “That’s not what they’re trying to do. Oh, there will be disruption.”

Balanoff went on to say that the employees involved in the strike are trying to “get the powers that be to hear their voice.”

The workers involved in the planned strike include baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, janitors and wheelchair attendants, and they are looking for a new $15 per hour wage.

While it remains unclear how a strike this close to Thanksgiving would impact O’Hare Airport and other facilities around the country, the number of holiday travelers this year is predicted to be very high, according to AAA. As a result, there will undoubtedly be delays if an agreement can’t be reached.

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