Atlanta Delta Flights May Go Without Food Service During Holiday Rush; Teamsters Suggest Travelers Bring Their Own Food and Beverages on Flights
Kara DenizEmail: [email protected] Phone: (202) 624-6911
(ATLANTA) – International and domestic flights served by Gate Gourmet departing from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta may experience delays or go without food service during the holiday travel rush. The disruptions could impact Delta (NYSE: DAL), Gate Gourmet’s largest customer, as well as several international airlines.
The potential for food service disruptions and flight delays stems from the concerns of drivers regarding the safety of Gate Gourmet’s vehicle fleet in Atlanta. A recent survey of Gate Gourmet’s drivers and customer service representatives suggests that a large portion of the company’s Atlanta vehicle fleet is unsafe to operate.
- The survey found that 97 percent of transportation workers reported knowing of a Gate Gourmet vehicle currently in service that has a “NO-GO” (shall not be driven) problem including malfunctioning horns, broken safety rails, broken brakes and missing emergency equipment;
- Drivers have identified 46 catering vehicles that according to Gate Gourmet’s own policies must be immediately removed from service and repaired; and
- The survey found that 86 percent of transportation workers surveyed report knowing of a Gate Gourmet catering vehicle in Atlanta currently in service that is infested by cockroaches, rodents, ants or insects.
“Over the past two months the Teamsters have made every effort to work with Gate Gourmet to address the company’s neglected vehicle fleet in Atlanta,” said Steve Vairma, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “Now, even though the company claims it plans to fix the fleet, it’s cutting corners by changing its safety standards so that it can label more trucks as drivable. But forcing employees to drive unsafe vehicles can put the public, our members and Gate Gourmet’s customers at risk.”
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is Delta Airlines’ largest hub and the busiest airport in the world. Gate Gourmet employs more than 1,600 workers in Atlanta who prepare meals, snacks and drinks for over 750 daily Delta flights departing from Atlanta, as well as a number of international carriers. Gate Gourmet has more than 43,000 employees worldwide, including over 8,000 production workers in the United States. The Teamsters represent 4,450 U.S. production workers and UNITE-HERE represents 3,100 workers.
“The Teamsters are calling on Gate Gourmet to stop putting the public and our workers at risk by immediately allowing for an independent safety audit of Gate Gourmet’s vehicle fleet led by a neutral third party with participation from worker representatives,” Vairma said. “In the meantime, travelers departing from Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport should bring their own food and beverages on flights.”
Following the vehicle safety problems identified in Atlanta, the Teamsters are calling for a nationwide inspection of the Gate Gourmet airport vehicle fleet.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.