2,000 U.S. airport workers go on strike leading up to American Thanksgiving

2,000 U.S. airport workers go on strike leading up to American Thanksgiving

TORONTO – Approximately 2,000 baggage handlers and other airport workers at seven major U.S. hubs went on strike Wednesday night over pay and union rights, wreaking havoc during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.

According to the Service Employees International Union, the work action began at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia in New York, Boston Logan, Chicago O’Hare, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood in Florida, Newark Liberty in New Jersey and Philadelphia, reports NBCNews.com.

The strike is expected to last through Thursday, said the union, which hopes to introduce a minimum wage of US$15 as well as unionize the contract workers. The organization also hopes to eliminate what it says is retribution by private contractors against employees seeking to unionize.

Several airlines, including JetBlue and United, reported they have taken measures to ensure that passengers aren’t significantly affected. Others, including American and Delta, told Reuters they didn’t anticipate much impact since the action involves cleaners, baggage handlers and others who work for private contractors.