Rashida Tlaib brushes with police during airline workers’ protest

Rashida Tlaib has brush with police during airport workers’ rights protest
2 min read
15 February, 2020
The Palestinian-American congresswoman took part in a sit-in at Detroit airport, accompanying participants to the police station as they were arrested for protesting ‘unimaginable’ working conditions for airline catering staff.
Tlaib (far left) at the sit-in at Detroit Metro Airport [Courtesy of Unite Here Union]

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib narrowly escaped arrest on Friday while protesting with airline catering workers at Detroit Metro Airport.

Initial reports suggested the Palestinian-American politician had been arrested along with a number of others who staged a sit-in outside the terminal for Delta airlines, however a later statement clarified she was not processed as an arrest, but she had rode with others being taken to the police station in a show of solidarity.

The civil disobedience at the airport, located in Detroit’s 13th district which Tlaib represents in Congress, was targeted at Delta airlines, which distributed $1.6 billion of its profits on Friday to “well-deserving” employees. However airline catering workers, who largely work for contractors, have been subject to low pay and little health care.

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“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 released on Friday. 

The congresswoman further called for a living wage, good healthcare, and an end to in-work poverty faced by many workers in the airline catering industry.

Tlaib, who has become well-known for her Palestinian advocacy inside Congress, is among the four progressive Democratic congresswomen known as “The Squad”.

Tlaib became the first Muslim congresswoman when she was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018.

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