UNITE HERE: Eight Baltimore City Council Members Call on German Elected Officials to Address Job Pro

BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eight Members of the Baltimore City Council sent letters to the State of Hesse and the City of Frankfurt yesterday calling on German elected officials to take responsibility for the quality of jobs at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport's (BWI) concessions program.The BWI airport concessions manager, AIRMALL USA, has been involved in a labor dispute since 2013. AIRMALL has been criticized by workers, elected officials and religious leaders for the quality of jobs provided under its concessions program. German local governments entered the picture when AIRMALL was purchased by Fraport Group last August. Fraport, a German-based airport operating company, is majority-owned by German local governments with Hesse owning a 31% share and Frankfurt 20%.In letters sent to each member of the Hessen Parliament and the Frankfurt City Council, the Baltimore City Council members asked that Hesse and Frankfurt take an active role in fixing the problems with job quality at the AIRMALL managed BWI-program.The letter describes low wages, lack of employer-provided health insurance for some workers and lack of job security for BWI's food and retail workers. It also references a study published by UNITE HERE in collaboration with the NAACP about racial inequality in job classification among surveyed workers at BWI's concessions program. Several signatories to the letters to German officials have joined over 50 community leaders and elected officials in signing a statement calling for AIRMALL's contract at the airport to be terminated if it "cannot demonstrate sufficient progress in creating a program that has a positive impact on racial equality in the State of Maryland."German officials were invited to take the opportunity to learn more about the working conditions at BWI Airport when a delegation of workers from Baltimore travels to Germany for Fraport's annual shareholders meeting in May.UNITE HERE is a union of hospitality workers representing over 250,000 worker members throughout the U.S. and Canada, including 33,000 in airport concessions and catering programs. href='http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150423005195/en/UNITE-Baltimore-City-Council-Members-Call-German' - http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150423005195/en/UNITE-Baltimore-City-Council-Members-Call-German -