JFK Security Workers Threaten To Strike If They Don’t Get Better Winter Coats, Other Equipment

When you’re standing outside on a windy, wintry tarmac, having the right equipment is pretty much essential, and that includes outerwear. A group of security guards at John F. Kennedy International Airport have voted to go on strike starting Dec. 20 if their employers don’t take action to improve their training and equipment, which includes proper winter coats.

It’s unclear what kind of coats they’re outfitted with right now, but if there is enough concern over the issue to include it in a proposed strike, it can’t be a good current situation.

NBC News in New York says about 100 employees of Air Serv Corp. voted yesterday to authorize the strike. Although they aren’t unionized, they’re being supported by 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union. Another group of security workers from Global Elite are set to vote today.

The guards say they tried to talk to their employers about more extensive training and better equipment, such as the coats and new radios, but nothing has been done about their issues.

One of the guards tells NBC that avoiding a strike “would take them coming to the table to address our concerns, to let us know that they care about us and would like to sit down and talk to us.”

AirServ says it’s just now finding out about the concerns and is taking them into consideration:

“We value employees’ input on matters of concern to them,” the Atlanta-based company said. “Accordingly, we will be speaking with employees on these matters in the days and weeks to come.”

Global Elite is blaming the union thus far for “false statements and allegations,” adding that its employees “have always been our most valuable asset” and “all the necessary resources” are there for them.

Threatening to strike during the year’s busiest season will likely get the ball rolling pretty quickly, as security workers are needed to make sure passengers don’t wander off into areas they’re not supposed to. Like out on that wintry, windy tarmac with all the planes.

JFK Strike Authorized Amid Holiday Travel [NBC New York]