Lifestyle & Belief

JFK Airport security officers vote to strike Dec. 20—just in time for holiday travel


People wait in line for a security check at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City on Dec. 23, 2010.


Spencer Platt

NEW YORK – About 200 private security officers who work at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport have voted to authorize a strike on Dec. 20, just as Christmas travel ratchets up, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The guards work for Atlanta-based Air Serv Corp. and are represented by the Service Employees International Union, according to the Wall Street Journal. At a meeting Friday, another 100 security workers employed by Garden City, NY-based Global Elite Group are planning to authorize a strike for the same day.

The $8-an-hour security workers, who direct traffic in front of terminals and guard alarmed doors, among other jobs, are protesting low pay and unaffordable benefits. The group is also fed up with what they describe as shoddy equipment, rushed searches and not enough training, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

“We are not provided the basic tools we need to keep passengers at the airport safe,” Prince Jackson, a security officer employed by Air Serv, said Thursday, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. “Our backs are against the wall because Air Serv tells us to shut up. Don’t talk about how bad things are.”

Air Serv said in a statement Thursday that it learned of the workers’ concerns this week and is currently reviewing them, the Wall Street Journal reported.

More from GlobalPost: Protest at Los Angeles International Airport delays Thanksgiving traffic