JFK Airport plane fueling workers may go on strike over holiday weekend

Workers who fuel planes at JFK Airport could go on strike over the holiday weekend.
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Workers refueling airplanes at John F. Kennedy Airport may go on strike on Friday, snarling travel plans for New Yorkers over Memorial Day weekend.

Teamsters Local 553, the union repping some 300 fuel workers at JFK, has been without a contract for nearly a year with the company supplying fuel services to the airport, Allied Aviation Services, and the two sides have reached an impasse leaving workers no choice but to walk off the job, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Demos Demopoulos, secretary-treasurer of Local 553, told the Post that Allied was unwilling to come to a collective bargaining agreement unless the union “forfeit[s]” its right to go on strike, which he said is a “non-starter.” Specifically, the dispute is over which federal agency has jurisdiction to resolve disputes, the National Labor Relations Board or the National Mediation Board.

Neither Local 553 nor Allied Aviation immediately returned requests for comment on Thursday.

Rick Cotton, who as executive director of the Port Authority oversees the region’s airport operations, declined to comment on the negotiations at the agency’s board meeting on Thursday.

The union last went on strike in 2005 over disputes regarding health care and pensions, the Post reported.