HMS welcomes and unites here to return to Phoenix Sky Harbor workers’ bargaining table after strike

After ten days of strike action, workers at the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport are resuming work from Thursday.

Unionized workers at a dozen retail outlets across Starbucks Airport at Blanco Tacos & Tequila went on strike just before Thanksgiving weekend.

Unite Here Local 11 has been negotiating with HMS Host since 2017 and the company says the union pulled out of the bargaining table in 2018.

HMS Host employs 469 workers in Sky Harbor and 49 took part in the strike last week. The company says it has raised wages by 16% and reduced healthcare costs despite the lack of a contract.

Unite Here recently called for an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation into systematic racial disparities in the hiring, promotion and compensation of employees at Phoenix airport concessionaire HMS Host. The company says the reason people of color earn less is because of seniority status and the union enshrined such a racial disparity when it signed a collective agreement where wages depended on seniority.

Black workers in restaurants at airports operated by HMS Host earn about $ 18,973 each year, including tips, compared to $ 28,513 for white workers, according to a union inquiry in 2019. After the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, wages annuals fell to $ 16,215 for white workers and even less for white workers. people of color, according to the union.

HMS Host says its proposal offers jobs over $ 15 an hour, including health insurance that covers 90 percent of employee costs for $ 13 per week.

Workers often travel to Mexico for medical treatment because it is cheaper than the company’s health care plan, union members say.

Union is pushing for Phoenix workers to have a pension fund instead of a 401K plan, but the company retorts that workers could leave without pension benefits if they opt for a pension and quit before being acquired.

“HMSHost believes the strike is not about wages and benefits, but rather Unite Here Local 11’s demand that the company switch from a 401K plan that benefits all workers to the hotel pension fund and Los Angeles restaurants, which benefits far fewer employees. “According to a statement from the company.

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