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Peace prevails at the airport

Friday, April 7, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council approved a labor peace agreement for the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Thursday in a vote of 10-1, with Council Member Ellen Troxclair voting in opposition. What’s a labor peace agreement? In essence, it is an agreement that will give concession workers in the airport expansion an opportunity to organize in exchange for not striking (and, consequently, disrupting operations at the airport). Troxclair, who voted against the agreement, worried that it would disproportionately impact small, local businesses, despite assurances that most airport concessions are managed by large corporations and arguments that local businesses should be held to a higher standard. Council Member Delia Garza, who sponsored the resolution, became emotional at the sight of Local 23 workers who showed up at City Hall to support the agreement and ask for the right to organize. “In a time where our immigrant families and our low-income families feel under attack – are scared, are vilified – it was really beautiful to see all of you walk in,” she said. “I come from a labor family. I truly believe that I’m only able to sit on this dais because my father … got involved in organizing and got involved in his union, and because he had a job that supported labor and being able to advocate for fair wages.”

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