Food service workers at Phoenix Sky Harbor vote to ratify new contract

Apr 28, 2024, 6:30 AM

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport...

Food workers at Phoenix Sky Harbor vote to ratify new contract. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Sky Harbor food service workers with HMS Host voted on Thursday to ratify a new contract.

According to a press release from the UNITE HERE Local 11 labor union, “The four-year agreement includes significant raises to keep up with rising inflation, a pension so workers can retire with dignity, and unprecedented tech protections and rights language.”

The ratification also averts a potential strike that was authorized by workers in March.

“We’re excited and proud to have reached an agreement that is going to change my life,” Lucia Salinas said in the release, who is a cook at Barrio Cafe.

HMS Host is the largest operator of airport concessions in North America. At Sky Harbor, the company operates over two dozen outlets, including Barrio Cafe, Starbucks, Chelsea’s Kitchen and SanTan Brewery.

“I have worked for HMS for over 25 years,” Salinas said. “Now that we’ve won a pension, I will actually be able to retire. I won’t have to work for the rest of my life.”

According to the release, workers for SSP America, a competitor of HMS Host at Sky Harbor, have been fighting for nearly seven months for a fair contract. Workers have filed 13 pending unfair labor practice charges against SSP, including allegations that the company has wrongfully fired nine outspoken union activists.

These charges are pending with a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.

“I am so incredibly proud of my brothers and sisters at HMS Host and the amazing contract that they have settled,” Meschelle Hornstein said in the release, who is a server with SSP America. “What they have won is the new standard for Sky Harbor Airport, and it’s time for SSP to step up.”

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Food service workers at Phoenix Sky Harbor vote to ratify new contract