Barred from Striking, Airline Food Workers Sit Down in Traffic

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2024 ... March 18, 2020

Barred from Striking, Airline Food Workers Sit Down in Traffic

David Bacon

Melieni Cruz, who helps prepare the meals passengers eat on airplanes, went thousands of dollars into debt because she couldn’t pay her soaring medical bills. "When the doctor found cysts on my ovaries, I had to save for a year to afford the procedure, and my cysts got bigger and more painful the whole time," she said as she picketed the terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Cruz works for LSG Sky Chefs, and her union, UNITE HERE Local 2, has been trying to renegotiate the contract that covers her and 1,500 other workers. The cost of healthcare premiums and wages are the big sticking points in bargaining. Medicare for All would certainly take Cruz’s healthcare costs off the bargaining table, and ensure that she gets treatment without having to endure a year in pain to save enough money for it.

That’s an important reason why Local 2 endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party Nominee, who campaigned for Medicare... for All long before the current presidential nomination race. Cruz went to work for LSG Sky Chefs for the medical coverage, for which she pays $150 a month on a wage of $18.16/hour. The deductible on the $8,000 surgery she needed put a huge hole in her income, and she’s now afraid to go to the doctor.

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