Economy

Chicago O'Hare baggage handlers plan strike after Thanksgiving

Chicago O'Hare baggage handlers plan strike after Thanksgiving

Avoiding what could have prompted an absolutely nightmarish Thanksgiving travel weekend, hundreds of O'Hare workers have announced a strike for after the holiday weekend. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law in April that will raise the minimum wage for hourly workers in the state to $15, the highest statewide wage in the nation.

The workers involved have been trying to organize with the union's help.

The workers are not unionized by the Service Employees International Union, but they are supported by the SEIU. Check back for details.

"It was never their intent to disrupt travel", the spokeswoman said via CNN.

After threats of striking during the busiest travel week of the year, employees at Chicago O'Hare International Airport moved their strike to the week after Thanksgiving.

O'Hare is the only airport where workers plan to strike, though organizers are planning protests at airports in 18 other cities, including Boston, Washington, D.C., Denver, Atlanta, Seattle and Los Angeles.

Some 22 million Americans are expected to fly between Friday and Thanksgiving, which means a strike could be a rude awakening for travelers returning home after the holiday, ABC 7 Chicago noted.

And with a looming strike from workers, some are anxious operations at one of the country's busiest airports will slow during Thanksgiving and other holiday travel.

Operations such as air traffic control and security screening will not be affected by the strike.

The O'Hare workers will join a national "Fight For $15" protest on November 29.

The workers include baggage handlers, jet cleaners and those who assist passengers in wheelchairs.

The 500 workers make up about 25 percent of the airport's 2,000 support staff, revealing that the effort is not resonating with the entire class of employees. Should the workers strike Chicago aviation officials say they don't expect major travel disruptions.