Labor dispute impacts workers at JFK

The workers were involved in a legal, 24-hour action calling attention to job concerns.

Six workers who participated in a legal 24-hour strike at John F. Kennedy Airport have been barred from returning to their jobs, a union that is supporting their efforts to organize said Friday.  

The non-union workers are employees of Ultimate Aircraft, which has a contract with JetBlue to clean the cabins of the company’s aircraft. They had participated in a coordinated strike with fellow workers at JFK, LaGuardia and other major U.S. airport hubs in Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale and Boston. The strikers had alleged they were being threatened for trying to unionize against what they said are bad wages. 

However, an e-mail from Kluger Healey, the law firm representing Ultimate, says no workers were disciplined.

“Not a single employee of Ultimate Aircraft who was engaged in the job action was terminated, suspended or even disciplined,” said the law firm. 

32BJ SEIU, the union that supported the action that began 11 p.m. Wednesday and ended 24 hours later, said striking workers were allowed to return to their jobs, except for six at JFK and three at Newark Airport. 

A spokeswoman for the union said two lawmakers, state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) and City Councilman I. Daneek Miller had gone to JFK to lend support to the workers. 

Cristian Salazar