There’s more unrest at Miami International Airport. More than 300 food workers have filed complaints alleging their employers have been underpaying them.
Workers with LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet said the underpayments date back to 2006. The employees of these companies, contractors of major airlines - Sky Chef's main client is American Airlines - say their employers are violating the Living Wage Ordinance.
The county’s Living Wage Ordinance, passed in 1999 and indexed to inflation, requires Miami-Dade County employees and employees who work for companies that contract with the county to make at least $12.63 per hour, with qualifying health benefits.
The question is whether the law covers companies that contract with airlines, which are tenants of the county-owned airport.
The ordinance says those covered include:
Service Contractors at Aviation Department Facilities. Any service that is provided by a Service Contractor at a Miami-Dade County Aviation Department Facility is a covered service without reference to any contract value.
The law goes on to list several specific roles including baggage handling, ramp or janitorial services. Food service is not listed, but the ordinance outlines that it should also cover:
“Any other type of service that a [General Aeronautical Service permittee] is authorized to perform at any Miami-Dade County Aviation Department Facility will be considered a Covered Service, regardless of whether the service is performed by a GASP permittee or other Service Contractor.”
Workers say their food preparation company employers should fall under the living wage ordinance. Sky Chefs, for one, disputes that.
These complaints come on top of a couple dozen filed earlier this year. Those employees provide services like baggage handling and wheelchair assistance.
The Minority Affairs Division at the airport, which handles all these complaints, has yet to make any determination about wrongdoing.