No Game Changer Without You!


$101,750 raised so farEND DATE: January 1   
  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Workers Say Racial Discrimination Systemic at Thurgood Marshall Airport


    TRNN's Jaisal Noor speaks with workers and advocates at BWI Airport who say the racial wage gap there is harming Baltimore's African American community -   October 3, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook



    The reason I continue to support TRNN is, not only is it real, it is also the most truthful. - Dick S
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Jaisal Noor is a host and producer for The Real News Network.

    Transcript

    Workers Say Racial Discrimination Systemic at Thurgood Marshall AirportJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News. I'm Jaisal Noor, here at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

    Workers and advocates have gathered here today to speak out on what they say is systemic discrimination against African-American workers here, who get paid less and get worse jobs than their white counterparts.

    NATALIE HICKMAN, MCDONALD'S CASHIER, BWI AIRPORT: I've been working here three years, and I still make $8 hour, which I was promised to a raise every six months. But no, still make $8 an hour.

    JEREMY POLLARD, SERVER AT VINO VOLO, BWI AIRPORT: I've worked at BWI Airport for a year and a half now. I make $6 an hour flat wage. And we make tips, and we pool our tips at my restaurant. So I can tell you that our tips average about $20 an hour.

    NOOR: The Real News repeatedly reached out to the publicly controlled BWI Airport and AirMall, the private company that manages its concessions, with no response.

    ROXIE HERBEKIAN, PRESIDENT, UNITE HERE LOCAL 7: We're calling this report a missed opportunity, because since this airport is owned by the state of Maryland, the airport could be a place where inequality is being whittled away, not encouraged.

    NOOR: The scathing report, authored by UNITE HERE and endorsed by the NAACP, argues that by employing black workers at lower-wage jobs compared to their white counterparts, BWI airport concessions programs exacerbate inequality in Baltimore's African-American community.

    GERALD STANSBURY, PRESIDENT, MARYLAND STATE CONFERENCE OF THE NAACP: Fast food workers are among our largest group of minimum-wage workers, with workers of color disproportionately represented and especially concentrated in the lowest-paying jobs, where only 10 percent of workers hold management positions, compared with almost half of the white men who work in fast food industry, further perpetrating the racial wage gap.

    HERBEKIAN: Eighty-three percent of the workers in the food and retail concession program are African-American. In the highest-paying jobs, the front of the house, bartender, and servers jobs, less than 40 percent are filled by African Americans. In fact, our study showed 38 percent.

    This is of grave consequence to our state, but particularly to the City of Baltimore. The vast majority of the workers at the airport live in Baltimore City, where the inequality gap is, unfortunately, quite large.

    HICKMAN: I live in the Park Heights area right now, and that area is not--it's not good at all. Like, two people just died recently up there. So it's a hassle every day. So, no, when I walk out my door [incompr.] everything is going to be okay and hopefully I can get back home. But out there, there's not a lot of jobs. There's a lot of killing, there's a lot of stealing, there's a lot of everything. There's not a lot of jobs. There's fast food jobs, but it's just people who get it, who luck up and get that job around that area. But there's not a lot of jobs at all.

    NOOR: The stories of African-American workers like Natalie Hickman, who makes just $8 an hour, contrast sharply with those of their white counterparts, like Jeremy Pollard, who makes an average of $26 an hour with tips.

    ~~~

    POLLARD: I work in a restaurant with with nine other workers, and none of my coworkers are African-American, despite the fact that I'm born and raised in Baltimore, which is a city that's about 70 percent African-American.

    NOOR: And there are lots of African-American workers at the BWI.

    POLLARD: Oh, yeah. I mean, I would say they're the majority of the workforce at BWI and the food service. Actually, I would say that with certainty, that they're the majority of the food service workforce at BWI.

    NOOR: And so how do you feel about that, the fact that--I mean, what you're implying is that because of the color of your skin, you're making more money than people that have a different skin.

    POLLARD: I'm actually kind of not implying it. I mean, it's the reality. It's what plays out at my workplace every day. I don't like it and I don't agree with it. I don't think that it benefits me personally. Even though the system works for me in that situation and monetarily, in the end it doesn't benefit me, because it doesn't benefit Baltimore City, and I live in that society.

    ~~~

    NOOR: And do you feel like people are kind of trapped in that situation?

    HICKMAN: Yes, 'cause I'm trapped in the situation now, even though I don't work out there. But I try hard, very hard, to come out here every day to work, and it's still not enough.

    ~~~

    POLLARD: You know, in a society with rampant poverty, when a large section of that society is kept out of good-paying jobs, whether maliciously or not, the end result is the same, which is a shop where ten people make very good money and none of them are African-American. And that inequality anywhere would irk me, but especially in an airport named after Thurgood Marshall.

    ~~~

    NOOR: UNITE HERE told The Real News that the union and supporters are demanding Democratic nominee for governor Anthony Brown end the state's contract with AirMall.

    For The Real News, this is Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    The Revolution Is Being Televised Pt. 2
    Fracking Opponents Celebrate Key Victories in New Brunswick, Quebec and New York
    The Three Remaining 'Cuban 5' Go Home
    The US and Cuba Restore Diplomatic Relations With A Spy Swap
    Obama Admin Still Seeking Testimony From Journalist James Risen
    Identity and Collective Denial - Lia Tarachansky on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Will South America Bring Life to the Bank of the South?
    Identity and Collective Denial - Lia Tarachansky on Reality Asserts Itself (1/3)
    Hundreds of Thousands of Wrongfully Purged Votes Could Have Cost Dems Midterm Elections
    Budget Bill's Little-Known Provisions Affecting Marijuana Users
    Millions March Oakland: A Look Beyond the Violence
    Contextualizing Baltimore's Recent Police Shooting
    The Lima Accord: A Great Success or More Climate Catastrophe?
    Data Collection Law on Excessive Force Shown Ineffective in the Past
    Will the New Federal Racial Profiling Guidelines Have Any Impact? (2/3)
    Chris Hedges Answers Questions from Viewers - Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself pt7
    Will the New Federal Racial Profiling Guidelines have Any Impact? (1/3)
    Russia Rejects South Stream Pipeline Through Europe
    A Second Mexican Revolution in the Works (2/2)
    Sharpton-Led March Alienates Youth Activists
    Nader: Federal Budget For Militarism, Against the People
    Will the E.U. Hold the U.S. Accountable for Torture?
    Russia Pivots to Eurasia for Trade and Military Alliances
    Congress to Pass Temporary Tax Breaks for Big Business for 15 Years Straight
    Federal Budget Guts Most Significant Financial Regulation Since 2008
    The People's Summit on Climate Change Calls For Energy Democracy
    Mothers Against Police Brutality Rally for Accountability
    COP20 Protesters Draw Attention to Corporate Presence at Negotiations
    The Torturers: Donald Rumsfeld, President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney
    Quakers Organize National Protest Against PNC

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting