ARIZONA NEWS

Some Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport restaurant workers start strike Monday

Nov 22, 2021, 9:02 AM | Updated: 9:08 am
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)...
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)

PHOENIX — Some Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport restaurant workers went on strike Monday as they push for a deal to improve pay and benefits.

Unite Here Local 11 members are seeking increased staffing, raises, affordable health insurance, a company-paid retirement contribution and tips protection from HMSHost, the largest concessions operator at the state’s largest airport.

The union, which authorized the strike by a 97% vote last week, said negotiations for a new deal started in 2017.

HMSHost has said said it’s offering a “generous compensation package” that includes 12% pay raises and accused the union of using the holiday travel season as leverage in the negotiations.

“We are sorry for the disruptions, but we’re people too,” Ari Berrong-Huber, a host at Barrio Cafe, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Sunday.

“We put up with a lot on this job. … We can’t continue to do the work under the conditions that we’re expected to do it right now, not to the rate of pay, not for the lack of benefits that we receive.”

The union said the length of the strike is indefinite, although HMSHost said it was told the work stoppage would last until the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.

HMSHost operates 12 concessions brands at Sky Harbor, including Starbucks, Chelsea’s Kitchen, Olive & Ivy, SanTan Brewing and Zinburger.

“We are doing whatever it takes to minimize any inconvenience over this busy holiday travel time and have supplemented services with managers, temporary employees and associates from other HMSHost locations, as well as increased our offerings of fresh, pre-packaged food items and self-pay stations,” a company spokesman said in a press release.

HMSHost said Local 11 workers make up less than half of the company’s hourly employees at Sky Harbor.

The company said it expects most of its restaurants, bars and airline lounges to remain open, except for two Starbucks in Terminal 3 and one at the baggage claim of Terminal 4. Zinburger may also temporarily close as well, the company said.

Local 11, a union for hospitality workers in Arizona and Southern California with more than 32,000 members, staged a one-day walkout at the airport in September over staffing shortages, mainly at Starbucks locations.

HMSHost said it’s been aggressively trying to hire more staff through job fairs, community outreach organizations and other methods.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Julie Levin contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Teofilo Acuna Gutierrez (Photo courtesy of DPS)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for 78-year-old man last seen in Phoenix

A Silver Alert was issued Wednesday in Phoenix for a 78-year-old man who hasn't been spotted since Friday.
13 hours ago
(New Life Center Photo)...
KTAR.com

Metro Phoenix domestic violence shelter opens dog park for pets of survivors

A metro Phoenix domestic violence shelter has opened a dog park tailored to survivors and their pets thanks to a grant.
13 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Central Arizona Dental Society Mission of Mercy)...
KTAR.com

Free dental care available to 1,800 patients during 2-day clinic at Phoenix arena

Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix will become the state’s largest free dental clinic Friday and Saturday, with the capacity to provide care for 1,800 patients in need.
13 hours ago
(Phoenix Fire Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Stolen car suspects crash, end up 200 feet down ravine after chase in Phoenix

Tempe police took two people into custody after a car chase that came to an end 200 feet down a Phoenix ravine Tuesday night.
13 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Scottsdale Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Police arrest suspect who fled Old Town Scottsdale traffic stop, hit pedestrian

A suspect who fled a weekend traffic stop in Old Town Scottsdale and collided with a pedestrian was arrested Monday, authorities said.
13 hours ago
FILE - Three girls embrace before they are removed from the home of Samuel Bateman, following his a...
Associated Press

FBI: Polygamous leader had 20 wives, many of them minors

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The leader of a small polygamous group near the Arizona-Utah border had taken at least 20 wives, most of them minors, and punished followers who did not treat him as a prophet, newly filed federal court documents allege. Samuel Bateman was a former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Some Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport restaurant workers start strike Monday