October 22, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Denver, CO – Worried that the coming renovation of Denver International Airport will privatize their jobs out of existence, more than 50 food and retail workers wearing red “Am I fired?” T-shirts rallied there Oct. 14.
Airport administrators hired a consortium of contractors in July to plan how to reconfigure and upgrade the main terminal, and all businesses in it terminal will be closed during the construction. “We still haven’t heard anything from them yet, and that worries me,” said bartender Abel Villa, who has worked at various jobs at the airport for more than 17 years. Airport spokesperson Heath Montgomery told the Colorado Independent that it’s still early to talk about job security, but that the current workers’ reliability and experience would make them extremely valuable to businesses in the reopened terminal. But Adam Yalowitz, a senior research analyst for UNITE HERE, which organized the rally, said the workers’ worries were justified, because the privatization of the main terminal is “unprecedented,” and that the airport management was essentially giving up control over which restaurants will stay in business. Read more