Miami International Airport Workers Voting To Strike

Dec 12, 2014

Airport workers gather to vote on a strike.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

  Miami International Airport restaurant workers have been without a contract for about seven months. They want higher pay and better health care benefits.

Over 50 people rallied in front of Terminal E Departures at the airport Friday. They gathered HMS Host employee signatures from 7 a.m to 8 p.m.

"We going to strike! We don't care anymore!" bartender Patricia Pierre yelled through the megaphone. She's part of the "UNITE HERE Local 355" union, which hasn't been on strike in over 30 years. 

They need a majority vote to authorize a strike. And that could shut down 28 restaurants and bars in MIA, including Quiznos, California Pizza Kitchen, Bud Brew and more.

Juliette Bain is crew leader at the airport’s commissary. She says a strike would make the holidays hectic for the airport.

"That's a lot of sandwiches that’s not getting made," Bain says. "That’s a lot of items not getting to the airport."

Union treasurer Wendi Walsh says she doesn’t want to see travelers go without food.

"But we also don't want to see our workers go without food for their families," she says.

HMS Host workers say their employers have until Dec. 22 before they go on strike.