Migrant workers fight for union rights

Airport security workers at the Oakland airport held an organising meeting on November 21 and received food in a food distribution organised by Filipino Association of Workers and Immigrants; Filipinos for Affirmative Action; Service Employees Local 1877; and the Alameda County Central Labor Council. The workers, most of whom are Filipino immigrants, are trying to join Local 1877, and in one of the airport's two terminals recently won union recognition. The workers are poorly paid and often work just a few hours a week, so the food distribution was organised to help their families celebrate Thanksgiving.

Workers accuse the security companies that employ them of discriminating against them, refusing to recognise their union rights, and not paying the wages and benefits mandated by Oakland's living wage law. Many worked as airport screeners before 9/11, and were among the 40,000 workers fired — and then refused rehire because they were not citizens — when the federal government took over passenger and baggage screening.

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