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Logan Airport workers launch one-day strike

50 cabin cleaners and ramp workers walk out over alleged retaliation for union activity, wage theft and staffing concerns.

A group of 50 cabin cleaners and ramp workers employed by Swissport USA launched a one-day strike at Logan Airport early on Dec. 8, 2022.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

A group of 50 cabin cleaners and ramp workers employed by Swissport USA launched a one-day strike at Logan Airport early Thursday morning. The action was in response to a manager’s alleged threat to fire three employees for union activity, in addition to alleged wage theft and staffing issues at the company, according to 32BJ SEIU, the union the workers are seeking to join.

Last month, 32BJ filed an unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board claiming the manager interfered with workers’ right to organize. Five employees have also filed wage theft complaints with the attorney general’s office this year for nonpayment of wages and vacation pay violations. Additionally, some workers said they haven’t been paid the $3,000 sign-on bonuses they were promised.


“With the holiday travel season upon us, it’s more important than ever that employers in Boston and nationwide pay airport workers the money they’ve rightfully earned while respecting their legally protected right to unionize,” Roxana Rivera, 32BJ SEIU executive vice president, said in a statement. “We are urging Swissport USA to stop getting in the way of a full recovery at Logan Airport by treating these hard-working men and women right.”

Swissport USA, based in Raleigh, N.C., employs about 400 workers at Logan Airport. The cabin cleaners and ramp workers make between $18 and $20 an hour, according to SEIU 32BJ.

In a statement, Swissport said that it fully complies with permit requirements in every US city where the company operates and that workers’ health and safety is its highest priority.

“Swissport denies any unfair labor practices, fully complies with applicable labor regulations, and provides competitive wages and benefits,” the company said.

Strikes against Swissport Cargo also took place in Chicago and Newark Thursday over alleged unfair labor practices, unsafe working conditions, and wage theft. In addition, SEIU held actions at more than 15 airports around the country, including Logan, Chicago, and Newark, to call for Congress to pass the Good Jobs for Airports Act to improve airport workers’ wages, benefits, and health care.


Katie Johnston can be reached at katie.johnston@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.