3-Year contract provides historic and uniquely-tailored package for group of aircraft fuelers
Press Contact: Jamie Fleming Phone: (425) 281-0166 Email: email@example.com
A group of more than 150 Swissport aircraft fuelers at SeaTac International Airport have ratified a historic three-year contract with Teamsters Local 174. The agreement, which is their second contract since organizing with Local 174 in 2018, makes great strides for the work group in contract language and economics. Not only will workers receive meaningful increases in pay and benefits, but the contract is also unique in how its language meets the specific needs of this mainly-Muslim, immigrant group of workers.
In 2018 when this group first organized with the Teamsters, workers were largely being paid minimum wage with a meager benefit package, and turnover was sky-high as a result. Now, just four short years later, the starting wage at Swissport has increased by more than $7 an hour with most workers receiving additional pay incentives for longevity as they no longer leave the company at anywhere near the same rate as before they joined the Teamsters. Health benefits in this new contract are also improved, as are seniority rights, vacations and general working conditions with the addition of gloves, boot allowances and lockers.
The contract is especially exceptional in how it meets the needs of this particular work group. The Muslim holiday Eid will now be a paid, recognized holiday in this contract, and is believed to be the first time Eid has been recognized in any union contract – a major victory since this group is over 70 percent Muslim. The contract also improves language protecting employees’ right to take extended leaves of absence to visit family overseas, as many of these workers are immigrants with strong family ties in their home countries.
“We are extraordinarily proud of this contract victory, as it not only rewards the hard work that our members perform every day, but also recognizes that every group of Teamsters is different and each have individual needs and priorities that must be addressed,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “Union contracts are not one-size-fits-all, and this particular agreement will put our members at Swissport in a strong position to take care of their families in all the ways that are important to them. These new Teamster members have truly seen firsthand what being organized with a union can do, and we look forward to continuing to negotiate strong contracts to improve the lives of all working people.”
Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 8,600 working men and women in Seattle and the surrounding areas. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.