Rashida Tlaib detained by police while protesting at DTW (Reports).
Michigan Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib was detained by police as she participated in a demonstration at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) Friday. Tlaib joined with airport catering employees in their protest for higher wages and a better health care program.
While Tlaib was not arrested, some protesters with her were taken into custody for blocking a road. Tlaib chose to ride with those arrested.
“This afternoon, members of UniteHere! gathered at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport,” read a statement from an airport spokesperson. “The union had a permit to demonstrate. Nine of the participants sat in the roadway on the McNamara Terminal Departures Level.”
“Eight demonstrators refused to move when asked by Airport Authority police officers,” the statement continued. “U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib eventually agreed to move; however, she chose to ride to the police department with the other demonstrators. All eight were cited and released.”
Unite Here, a nationwide labor union for service and hospitality workers, organized the protest on the same day that Delta Airlines gave a total of $1.6 billion in profit-sharing bonuses to some of its employees.
“Catering workers who prepare the airline’s first-class meals and ensure its flights are properly stocked for on-time departures struggle to afford to pay for both rent and health care,” said a statement from Unite Here.
Protests organized by Unite Here also took place in five other states across the U.S. including New York, Pennsylvania, California, Washington and North Carolina.
Tlaib, who is serving her first term in Congress, is known for her progressive politics. She supports the Green New Deal and has endorsed legislation which calls housing “a human right.”
“Today, we are calling on Delta Air Lines to say that if it wants to really prove that it cares about the working families more than it does its bottom line, then it will commit to ending poverty in the airline catering industry so one job is enough for all airline workers,” Tlaib tweeted Friday.
“We won’t stop until we get #fairwages & #healthcare,” Tlaib wrote. “These courageous people got arrested tonight at DTW b/c they believe workers deserve human dignity. Shame on you @Delta for leaving workers behind and letting them live in poverty. @unitehere”
“These workers are suffering and living under unimaginable conditions all because Delta wants to make more profits on the backs of the poor,” Tlaib said in a statement to The Hill. “The airline catering workers are desperate for a better quality of life and put their bodies on the line in their fight against the exorbitant corporate greed by the airlines denying them of their right to a living wage and good healthcare.”
Delta’s profit share today marked the second-largest in company history with over $1 billion being paid out to employees marking five consecutive years of payouts at that approximate level.