Those of you whose travel plans include New York JFK or La Guardia airport might want to review your current flight options and prepare accordingly. A variety of workers at these two airports have voted to go on strike Wednesday July 22 & Thursday July 23 respectively.
Part of the workers (the airport security guards working for Aviation Safeguards) are non-unionized while the baggage handlers and wheelchair attendants are with the Service Employees International Union’s Local 32BJ.
Bloomberg Business reported about the situation (access their article here):
More than 1,000 security officers, baggage handlers and wheelchair attendants at New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airports voted unanimously to authorize a strike starting Wednesday night.
The contract workers will walk off the job at JFK’s Terminal 7, home to British Airways, United Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways, Wednesday at 10 p.m. The strike will continue through July 23 at JFK and LaGuardia.
The security officers going on strike patrol the halls and entries of the airports. They aren’t employees of the Transportation Security Administration, which handles airport checkpoint and baggage screening.
It’s uncertain in what way this strike will effect the airports operations and if the Port Authority will be able to make due without these workers on strike for the time being.
Considering the three groups on strike my recommendations to passengers is to avoid being reliant on their services if possible. That means if you don’t need a wheelchair under all circumstances try to bring extra time and walk instead. Everyone who is able to travel with carry on only might also consider to avoid checking in baggage, who knows if it’s getting stuck somewhere in the airport and how long it might be delayed.
Passengers will not have any influence beyond preparation for their trip so the best you can do is bring time and monitor your flights on the airlines website in case there are significant delays or cancellations.