From The Forum:
An act of civil disobedience outside of Queens’ LaGuardia Airport landed several elected officials, community leaders and airport workers in the back of a police truck after they called for equality in remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. The group held a booming rally Monday morning centered on poor working conditions and unfair wages near the airport and then marched down the nearby 94th Street bridge to block traffic, where the arrests followed.
Some of those handcuffed included U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan), City Council members Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) along with 29 others, the Jackson Heights 115th Precinct said.
“The City Council stands untied to support you, airport workers, in your demands for dignified work and respect,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito alongside colleagues Councilmen Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica) and Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton). “We have seen a mobilization across this nation of fast food workers, car wash workers and now airport workers. We will ensure that we stand with you.”
The protests were in support of the service workers union 32BJ SEIU, which organized petitions signed by more than 2,000 workers demanding MLK Day become a paid holiday, but to no avail. Union President Hector Figueroa, who was also arrested, said the airlines and Port Authority have refused to listen to workers’ pleas for the simplest of perks, such as paid sick days and wages above $8 an hour.
Ever notice that pols only turn out en masse for a rally when a union is involved?