Chicago O'Hare baggage handlers plan strike after Thanksgiving

Chicago O'Hare baggage handlers plan strike after Thanksgiving
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Baggage handlers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport are planning to strike the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, according to multiple reports.


The workers are joining a larger push to receive a minimum wage of $15 an hour, with protests planned at other airports around the country. Right now, only baggage handlers at O’Hare are planning to strike.

The baggage handlers are not unionized but are getting help from Service Employees International Union Local 1.

"Despite helping to generate $8 billion in profits for the airline industry, most O’Hare Airport workers are forced to survive on minimum wage or less," they said in a prepared statement, according to DNA Info.

The workers, who are employed by contractors hired by the airlines, are responsible for handling bags, cleaning planes and assisting passengers in wheelchairs.

They voted last week to strike over Thanksgiving but said Monday they didn’t want to ruin the holiday for travelers and opted to set the strike date for Nov. 29. Union officials said they want to create "a disruption" but do not intend to shut down O'Hare.

The same group also filed a complaint with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration over “dangerous” working conditions, saying they have suffered fractures, sprains, crushed digits and burns.