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Labor Battle Brewing at Sac Int'l Airport

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chanting: "We are the union! / The mighty, mighty union!"

About 15 union members marched along the airport's sidewalk yesterday afternoon.  They're upset with airport officials for recommending concessionaires for the new Terminal B who haven't agreed to stay neutral in the union's upcoming attempt to organize.  Currently, food workers are unionized but most retail employees are not.  Bill Camp with the Sacramento Central Labor Council says the airport's county managers should show better judgment.

Camp: "They should not be dealing with companies who are not willing to say, the decision of having a union is up to these workers, not up to us, and we should not be involved in this."

Airport spokeswoman Cheryl Marcell says a panel of experts evaluated all potential concessionaires and picked the ones that ranked highest in several categories:

Marcell: "Financial investment, finished work of the buildout space, sense of place, using local vendors - a lot of different components."

And Marcell says the labor battle is between the employers and their workers - not the county.  One of the concessionaires, Paradies, says it's already reached out to the union and is open to further discussions.  Sacramento County Supervisors will vote on the recommendations early next month.

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