UNITE HERE Local 11 & Coalition of Environmental Organizations Call on American Airlines to Protect the Environment

American Airlines fails to consider the operations of its airline catering contractor, LSG Sky Chefs, in its ESG report

LOS ANGELES--()--UNITE HERE Local 11, the airline catering workers’ union, joined by a coalition of environmental organizations, held a press conference at Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 4 Wednesday, where LSG Sky Chefs’ largest client, American Airlines, operates.

“Local 11 cares deeply about environmental issues, because our members and their families deserve to breathe clean air and water, live in areas with green space and not suffer long-term effects of pollution. While we fight for better jobs, benefits, and wages, part of that work is in vain if our members do not have livable communities. Economic and environmental justice are inseparable,” said Robin Rodríguez of UNITE HERE Local 11.

According to a study in the journal Atmospheric Environment, global air travel and transport is responsible for 3.5% of climate change from human activities. The airline industry must combat the existential crisis of climate change.

American Airlines has begun other initiatives to combat climate change but does not appear to consider the impacts of its catering contractor, LSG Sky Chefs, in its own environmental assessment. Over the past 10 years, American Airlines PAC (AA PAC) has contributed over $600,000 to Republican Congressional candidates who have made statements denying the impact of human activity on climate change, according to Center for American Progress.

“As a mother I want my kids to have an earth to enjoy. American Airlines can take the needed steps to make sure Sky Chef’s is contributing to our environment in a positive way,” said Clara Meza, Sky Chef's worker of 38 years.

“American Airlines needs to commit, and Sky Chefs needs to commit, to banning the use of single use plastics. American Airlines needs to commit to stop giving its money, its passengers money, its shareholders money, to the people and the candidates that are fighting climate change and denying that it’s happening, and denying that it’s happening because of human behavior. We can do better,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin.

UNITE HERE Local 11 was joined by over 40 prominent environmental organizations, including Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, California Environmental Voters, Sunrise Movement Los Angeles, and Labor Network for Sustainability in sending an open letter calling on American Airlines to: 1) consider the operations of its airline catering contractor in its ESG report, 2) commit to reducing 90% of single use plastics from its flight and catering operations, and 3) stop donating to politicians who have denied climate change.

“American Airlines' use of single-use plastics for in-flight and dining services is irresponsible in the extreme. We should not be turning our oceans into landfill. Beyond Plastics joins Local 11 in calling on American to stop using single-use plastics,” said Judith Enck, President of Beyond Plastics.

“LSG Sky Chefs and American Airlines must commit to not supplying single use plastics on airlines from cutlery to blankets covered in plastics. The Earth is tired and we aren't living with it but on it,” said Clare Swithenbank-Bowman, Executive Director of Trash 4 Tokens.

“Workers at LAX are not only subject to airport pollution on the job, but at home as well, with the majority of workers living in nearby flight-path communities,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Nithya Raman. “In standing up today to demand that American Airlines make significant changes to its environmental practices, these workers are not only fighting for the environment, but for their livelihoods. Worker justice and environmental justice are intertwined, and I firmly support airline catering workers in their call to action.”

Letter to American Airlines & Sky Chefs here

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.


Maria Hernandez | 623-340-8047 | mhernandez@unitehere11.org


Maria Hernandez | 623-340-8047 | mhernandez@unitehere11.org