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Airport, Fast Food, Home Care and Child Care Workers to Join Thousands in Streets to Show They Won’t Back Down

Protestors at Fort Lauderdale Will Hold Largest Ever Mannequin Challenge at FLL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Advisory for Tuesday, November 29th
Contact: Ana Tinsly, 646-331-4765, amtinsly@seiu32bj.org
 

WHAT: Fight for $15 Nationwide Day of Disruption: Fort Lauderdale Airport workers join fast food, home care, health care and other underpaid workers risk arrest as they take part in a massive Fight for $15 Nationwide Day of Disruption; hold largest mannequin challenge ever at FLL to illustrate workers’ issues.
WHO: Airport workers, striking fast food workers, home care, health care employees, faith leaders and community supporters. Spanish speakers will be available.
WHERE: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, Departures Level (curbside), between Terminals 1 & 2
WHEN: Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, at 12 noon. Media, please be there by 11:45 am.

Available Visuals & Media Opportunities:
Media opportunities for Tuesday will include almost 200 hundred protesters gathering curbside at Departures level, between Terminals 1 and 2, at approximately 11:45 am; largest mannequin challenge ever at FLL; and protestors in t-shirts hand-decorated with signs and slogans. Available interviews will include various airport workers, fast food, home care, and health care workers. Any media participating in Tuesday’s action please arrive to set up by 11:45 am.
 

Fort Lauderdale, FL — Airport workers will join up to 200 other low-wage workers, including striking fast food, home care and health care employees at Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) on November 29th at 12 noon as part of a massive multi-city protest to demand $15 and a union. The underpaid workers will march through the terminals and hold the largest ever mannequin challenge at FLL, illustrating the indignities that they endure, as well as their collective power. 

The event is part of a national wave of protests at nearly 20 major airports, which serve 2 million passengers a day, and outside McDonald’s restaurants from North Miami to Denver. At 6:00 am, McDonald’s workers at 13000 Biscayne Blvd. in North Miami will walk off the job and then later join airport workers and other underpaid employees at Fort Lauderdale Airport at 12 pm.

“Much like the thousands of underpaid workers that make up the Fight for $15 movement, I am a Black, immigrant woman who is struggling to raise my family on the meager wages I earn,” said Ernise Ducasse, cabin cleaner for Eulen at FLL. “We are more determined than ever to stand up for our rights and to fight for equality in the workplace and in our society.”

For over three years, airport workers at FLL have been organizing for better wages and benefits, while fighting exploitation and charges of unfair labor practices. Earlier this month, cabin cleaners for Eulen America, which services Delta, Spirit, and Jet Blue airlines, went on strike for the fourth time over firings, threats, and intimidation after organizing against wage theft.

Galvanized by the election and frustrated with an economy that is rigged for the rich, the protests will underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants or support racism or racist policies will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for $15. 

Background:
The Fight for $15, launched Nov. 29, 2012, when 200 fast-food workers walked off their jobs at dozens of restaurants across New York City, demanding $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation. Since then it has grown into a global phenomenon that includes airport, fast-food, home care, child care, university, retail, building service and other workers across hundreds of cities and scores of countries. Workers have taken what many viewed as an outlandish proposition – $15/hour– and made it the new labor standard in New York, California, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Home care workers in Massachusetts and Oregon won $15/hour statewide minimum wages and companies including Facebook, Aetna, Amalgamated Bank, JP Morgan Chase and Nationwide Insurance have raised pay to $15/hour or higher. Workers in nursing homes, public schools and hospitals have won $15/hour via collective bargaining. All told, the Fight for $15 has led to wage hikes for 22 million underpaid workers, including more than 10 million who are on their way to $15/hour.

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SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees and property service workers in the state of Florida. SEIU members provide vital public services in Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities. With over 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.