CHICAGO (CBS) — The Fight for $15 movement took aim at shareholders meetings for two Chicago area corporate giants on Wednesday — McDonald’s and United Airlines — as low-pay workers continued their push for a higher minimum wage.
Fight for $15 protesters also sought to send a message to United Airlines at the company’s shareholder meeting at Willis Tower on Wednesday.
Airport workers – including baggage handlers, janitors, and security officers – were joined by leaders of the Service Employees International Union, which has been trying to unionize the employees of subcontractors hired by the airlines.
“O’Hare workers are coming together with other airport workers from major cities across the country, all fighting for a better life by sticking together and speaking out,” SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff said.
The workers claim contractors hired by United undercut jobs at O’Hare, and undermine safety and security.
“We understand this is an important issue being raised in cities and states across the country. At United, we hold our vendors to the highest standards and require them to follow all applicable laws and regulations. Since we do not have a direct employer-employee relationship with our vendors’ employees, we must rely on them to work with each other directly,” United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said in an email.
SEIU officials said 30 airport workers and supporters were arrested at the United Airlines protest, including Balanoff. Police issued citations for blocking traffic.