Low wage workers protest as US Airways shareholders vote on merger.
On July 12 low-wage airport workers and supporters from Boston, Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale, Newark and New York City rallied outside a meeting of Arizona, USA-based carrier US Airways' (NYSE: LCC) shareholders voting on that airlines' proposed merger with Texas-based American Airlines (OTC: AAMRQ), organisers said.
They said they were there to protest a business model that they said requires them to labour in a shadow economy with no job security, working for minimum wage, relying on tips and lacking basic benefits while the airlines' top executives rake in millions of dollars.
US Airways' shareholders are expected to cast the final vote to approve a USD 11bn merger with American Airlines effectively creating the world's largest airline. But critics say the airline still fails to address wage and working conditions for thousands of contracted security officers, cleaners and wheelchair attendants who struggle to get by.
The carrier's shareholders will also vote to approve a USD 86m compensation package in 2012 compensation and merger-related contingency pay US Airways' CEO and top executives, including a potential USD 19.8m severance package for American Airlines CEO Tom Horton.
Protest leaders point out that last year US Airways reported their highest annual profit in company history, which was on par for the industry, as the nation's top airlines turned a profit last year. This, they said, is in stark contrast to the contracted service workers who earn as little as USD 4.77 an hour plus tips and with no health insurance, who can barely cover the basic needs of their families.
Find out more at www.seiu.org.
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