NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY


The 200K Spring Challenge!

every dollar pledged will be matched by a generous donor

MICHELLE ALEXANDER

EDDIE CONWAY

CORNEL WEST

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 Facebook Share to Twitter



An awesome daily supply of genuine, un-spun world news - Chris Attwell
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


30 Years Later: The Bombing Of MOVE Part 2
As Violence Spikes in Baltimore, Former Investigator Says Police Aren't the Answer
"America Does Bad Things for Good Reasons": the Vietnam War and American Exceptionalism - Christian Appy on RAI (1/5)
TRNN DEBATE: Should Bernie Sanders Run as an Independent?
The Cost of War and Lost Job Opportunities
Not a Single House Has Been Rebuilt One Year After Israeli War on Gaza
Advocates Say Black Women Left Out of Freddie Gray Conversation
Assad Has Lost Over Fifty Percent of Syria to ISIS
Portland, Oregon Mayor Charlie Hales Does the Right Thing
30 Years Later: The Bombing Of MOVE Part 1
Kayaktivists Protest Shell's Arctic Rig in Seattle
Default Looms in Greece
The Global African: The State of Black Workers & Violence in Burundi
TRNN Replay: 44 Years in Prison, Still a Revolutionary - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (1/10)
Grand Jury Indicts 6 Officers in Death of Freddie Gray
TRNN Debate: Are GMOs Safe to Eat?
NSA Whistleblower: No Real NSA Reforms Being Considered by Senate
Post Conflict Fragile States, Will They Overcome?
Pressure Mounts on Baltimore Police Union as Protests Continue
Five Big Banks Plead Guilty to Rigging Currency Markets and No One Goes to Jail
U.S. Might Support UN Resolution That Leaves Palestine with a "Garbage Dump" - Norman Finkelstein on RAI 2 (3/3)
Baltimore Residents Say Anger Over Freddie Gray Could Affect Mayor's Race
Can the DOJ Reform the Baltimore Police Department?
Warren Pushes Back Against TPP Fast Track
Illinois House Passes Bill to Stop BDS Campaign Against Israel
Israel's Iron Dome and Palestinian Armed Resistance - Norman Finkelstein on Reality Asserts Itself 2 (2/3)
NAACP Accuses Baltimore Police Union of Intimidation
Former President Morsi Sentenced to Death
Scheer and Hedges: They Know Everything About You (7/7)
EU Plans to Destroy Migrant Boats Leaving Libya

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