New York

Worker Strikes at New York-Area Airports Suspended

Contract talks resumed Wednesday

Several hundred workers, including baggage handlers, cleaners and customer service agents at three New York-area airports and Philadelphia International Airport have suspended a strike while contract talks continue.

"With strikes looming at Newark, LaGuardia, JFK and Philadelphia International airports, American Airlines and 32BJ SEIU have entered into last minute discussions," Rob Hill, vice president of 32BJ Service Employees International Union, who is representing the workers, said.

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But that could change quickly.

"While the strike is suspended as negotiations get underway, the airport workers are ready to go back on strike should talks fall apart," Hill added.

The airport workers at Newark Liberty International Airport walked off the job at 9 p.m. Tuesday in a labor dispute with their employer, PrimeFlight, a subcontractor for several airlines.

The workers are alleging unfair labor practices.

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A spokeswoman for the union said the workers planned to strike at John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport Wednesday morning, but those last-minute discussions have suspended those strikes. But those were put off because of the last-minute negotiations. 

Should negotiations fall through, though, the job actions could continue for days -- and the impact for travelers could potentially be severe.

Neither PrimeFlight nor American Airlines couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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