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Chicago O'Hare Thanksgiving Strike May Cause Problems For Travelers

Travelers Today       By    Rea Gabriel

Updated: Nov 22, 2016 06:51 PM EST

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Long Lines In Airports Rise
Passengers at O'Hare International Airport wait in line to be screened at a Transportation Security Administration.
(Photo: Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Airport workers of O'Hare International Airport are planning to have a strike in the busiest days of flights before Chicago Thanksgiving 2016. Earlier reports claim that the workers who are fighting for a raise of $15/hour in their daily wage will conduct the said strike days before the 24th of November.

"Workers are really frustrated because they've been fighting and they've been trying to get the powers to be to hear their voice," Tom Balanoff, president of Service Employees International Union Local 1 said on Chicago Tribune.

"So they're hoping that with this strike, the powers that be - the city, the Department of Aviation, American, United and other airlines - that they'll listen and come to a rational way so that these workers have the right to be recognized, and they have a right to bargain over their working conditions," he added. 

A total of 500 workers voted for their assurance that they will conduct the strike and not attend their work or picket at the airport outside the terminals. This disturbance might cause more disruption to the busiest Thanksgiving ever recorded, where a total of 1.5 million passengers are expected to travel via O'Hare.

However, this strike for Thanksgiving is scrapped at the last minute and instead moved to November 29. The union said that the workers know what it felt like to not enjoy Chicago Thanksgiving with the family.

"O'Hare airport workers often can't afford a proper Thanksgiving dinner and know what it's like to miss Thanksgiving with our families," said Raquel Brito, an O'Hare baggage handler.

"However, we respect families traveling to be together, and that is why we're holding off our strike until after the Thanksgiving holiday."

The protest will be in line with The Fight for $15 movement, where strikes are expected to happen in various places of the country. Thousands of workers are expected to participate from 20 airports and McDonald's Restaurants in 340 cities.

The fast food and airport workers will be joined by workers who earn less than $15 per hour, like graduate assistants, child care workers, and home care workers.

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