UNITE HERE Local 11 and Coalition of Environmental Organizations Call on American Airlines to Protect the Environment

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UNITE HERE Local 11, the union of airline catering workers, joined by a coalition of environmental organizations, held a press conference on Wednesday at Terminal 4 of Los Angeles International Airport, where the largest customer of LSG Sky Chefs, American Airlines.

“Local 11 cares deeply about environmental issues, because our members and their families deserve to breathe clean air and water, live in green spaces and not suffer the long-term effects of climate change. pollution. As we fight for better jobs, benefits and wages, some of that work is wasted if our members don’t have livable communities. Economic and environmental justice are inseparable,” said Robin Rodríguez of UNITE HERE Local 11.

According to a study in the journal Atmospheric environment, global air travel and transport is responsible for 3.5% of climate change due to human activities. The airline industry must fight the existential crisis of climate change.

American Airlines has launched other initiatives to combat climate change, but does not appear to consider the impacts of its catering contractor, LSG Sky Chefs, in its own environmental assessment. Over the past 10 years, American Airlines PAC (AA PAC) has paid more than $600,000 to Republican congressional candidates who have made statements denying the impact of human activity on climate change, according to the Center for American Progress.

“As a mother, I want my children to have a land to enjoy. American Airlines can take the necessary steps to ensure that Sky Chef’s contributes positively to our environment,” said Clara Meza, Sky Chef employee of 38 years. .

“American Airlines must commit, and Sky Chefs must commit, to banning the use of single-use plastics. American Airlines must commit to stop giving away its money, its passengers’ money, the money of its shareholders, to the people and candidates who are fighting climate change and denying that it is happening, and denying that it is happening because of human behavior. We can do better,” said Los Angeles board member Mike Bonin. Angeles.

UNITE HERE Local 11 was joined by more than 40 leading environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, California Environmental Voters, Sunrise Movement Los Angeles and Labor Network for Sustainability, in sending an open letter calling on American Airlines to: 1) review the operations of its inflight catering contractor in its ESG report, 2) commit to reducing single-use plastics from its inflight and catering operations by 90%, and 3) stop donating to politicians who have denied climate change.

“American Airlines’ use of single-use plastics for in-flight and catering services is irresponsible in the extreme. We shouldn’t turn our oceans into landfills. Beyond Plastics joins Local 11 in calling on Americans to stop to use single-use plastics,” said Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics.

“LSG Sky Chefs and American Airlines must commit to not supplying airlines with single-use plastic, from cutlery to plastic-coated blankets. The Earth is tired and we live not with it but with it,” said Clare Swithenbank-Bowman, Executive Director of Trash 4 Tokens.

“LAX workers are not only prone to airport pollution at work, but also at home, with the majority of workers living in communities close to flight routes,” said Los Angeles board member Nithya Raman. . “By standing up today to demand that American Airlines make significant changes to its environmental practices, these workers are not just fighting for the environment, but for their livelihoods. Workers’ justice and environmental justice are intertwined, and I strongly support airline catering workers in their call to action.

Letter to American Airlines and Sky chiefs here

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a union representing more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports.

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