O’Hare Airport Worker Attends D.C. Convention: ‘It Was A Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience’

As a wheelchair attendant at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, I help organize my fellow coworkers as we fight with SEIU Local 1 for $15 and union rights. Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to learn from fellow airport workers in Washington, D.C. as we came together for a one-day convention to develop our organizing skills and strategize in our fight.

I joined airport worker leaders from Philadelphia and Portland as we encouraged our D.C. brothers and sisters to keep fighting! I spoke on a panel about our recent Chicago airport victory in which a Local 1-backed ordinance passed, giving 8,000 O’Hare and Midway airport workers higher wages and union rights. During the panel, we discussed the importance of leadership in our workplace. I told my fellow airport workers that if we treat our coworkers with respect and dignity, our team should never break.

Check out video from the convention:

As my first ever trip to D.C., the convention was a powerful, once-in-a-lifetime experience to see our nation’s capital and meet workers who, just like me, are fighting for a better future. At O’Hare, I work for a company called Prospect Airport Services, and coincidentally, my D.C. roommate was a Prospect wheelchair attendant from Philadelphia. We bonded over our experiences and were able to explore D.C. together.

We saw the White House and toured D.C.’s iconic monuments, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. MLK’s quotes at the memorial were so moving. We plan to apply his words of wisdom in our fight for economic justice. It’s great to know that I am making a difference, not just for myself and my coworkers, but for airport workers across the country.

Danny Rodriguez works for Prospect Airport Services as a wheelchair attendant at O’Hare Airport. With support from Local 1, he’s been helping lead his fellow airport workers in the Fight for $15 and union rights.

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