Hundreds protest at airport as DNC nears

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Hundreds protested for higher pay at the airport. (WPVI)

Hundreds protested Tuesday for higher pay at the Philadelphia International Airport and union leaders are threatening to strike during next week's Democratic National Convention if their demands aren't met.

Behind a banner declaring 'Respect Black Workers,' the protesters, many members of the Service Employees International Union, demonstrated on behalf of non-union airport workers.

At times they were sitting down, and at other times they were marching along the arrival lanes of the airport.

Traffic was squeezed and slowed. As a result, arriving passengers had to scramble.

Though no deadline has been given, the union says the workers are prepared to strike as the DNC is due to arrive.

The non-union workers are employed by subcontractors hired by the airlines.

"We want a union and we want $15 an hour," airport work Alfred Williams said.

The current starting rate is a city mandated $12.

Other workers said they need vacation time and sick time. They say they are willing to shut down the DNC if they don't get what they want.

If a strike is called, it's not at all clear what percentage of workers will walk off the job.

Some left work Tuesday to join the protest but many others remained on the job.

Both the mayor and American Airlines have said they don't anticipate any job action to interfere with airport operations.

Related Topics:
philly newsphiladelphia international airport2016 democratic national convention - dncstrikeprotest
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