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Sky Harbor employees returning to work after 10-day strike

The union announced its members would be returning to Sky Harbor airport on Thursday and will continue negotiating with their employers.

PHOENIX — Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport workers intend to return to work Thursday after striking for 10 days over disputed job benefits and working conditions. 

The workers, who are employed by HMS Host, voted last month to go on strike shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday season. They were attempting to get their employer to negotiate with them on fair salary raises, affordable health insurance and retirement contributions. 

“Our intention with our strike was to bring more attention to the company’s stinginess after four years of negotiations, and to do it at a time when the company would be forced to recognize the value of our labor most - Thanksgiving,” said Victoria Stahl, a barista in Terminal 4. “We did that and now we are ready to go back to the negotiating table.” 

HMS Host workers make up the largest group of food concessions workers at Sky Harbor and work in all the airport's Starbucks coffee shops and popular restaurants such as Barrio Cafe, Chelsea’s Kitchen, and SanTan Brewery.

The strikers said they intend to continue negotiating for better work environments that will protect workers from discrimination. 

The union has previously alleged that in 2019 Black workers were paid on average only 67% of the total earnings of white workers, and Latinx workers were paid on average 78% of the total earnings of white workers.

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