The union that represents HMSHost workers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport workers who have been on strike since Monday announced on Wednesday that it is calling for a federal investigation into alleged racial pay differentials among its employees.
Unite Here Local 11, a union that represents more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Arizona and Southern California, said it had requested the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate “significant differences in hiring, promotion and compensation along racial lines.”
The union said it filed a 13-page complaint alleging, in part, that black workers earned an average of 67% of white workers’ total income in 2019 and that Latinx workers took home an average of 78% of white workers’ total income. names.
The calculations were made based on company data for employees whose race or ethnicity and pay information was provided, the union said, adding that additional disparities were found and “continued through the pandemic”.
The union went on to say that the differences “appear to be related to the disproportionate representation of white workers in higher-paying jobs” and that white workers at HMSHost are nearly 10 times more likely than black workers to serve as bartenders or servers. which it said is desirable because they are tilted positions.
The vote to approve the strike was held last week, with 97% of workers voting in favor of the measure. Workers went on strike in search of better wages, health insurance and pension plans.
HMSHost is one of two companies that manage airport restaurants.
The airport said Monday the strike affected less than 10% of restaurants that would normally be open. HMSHost said passengers can expect more prepackaged food and self-paid kiosks as the company is doing “everything necessary to minimize inconvenience during this busy holiday travel time”.
The union filed an unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board in June, alleging that HMSHost management ordered two Starbucks baristas to remove their Black Lives Matter masks. HMSHost settled the charges after a regional NLRB office began investigating the claims, saying it would not prohibit workers from wearing Black Lives Matter masks, the union said.
That same month, one of the employees who was ordered to remove his mask filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Department of the City of Phoenix, alleging that he had been “subjected to bigoted name-calling by customers” for being gay and mixed race. , the union said.
The department responded that it “has a policy of deferring employee complaints against companies to other agencies,” the union said.
A union-released 2020 report found that the median pay for black baristas at Starbucks locations operated by HMS Host at 27 U.S. airports was $1.85 lower than for white baristas based on data between February and October 2019 .
Sky Harbor deferred the request for comment from the Republic of Arizona to HMSHost, which did not immediately respond.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or 602-444-8529. Follow her on Twitter @brieannafrank.
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