FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Airport workers who have been laid off were protesting outside Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on Monday.
They claim their former employer received millions of dollars from the government to pay them during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they still have not been hired back.
Some people have already lost their homes and others have already lost their vehicles, so for many of those workers, the damage has already been done.
Rashad Grant is one of several Fort Lauderdale Airport workers that was laid off at the start of the pandemic who is now questioning his former employer’s actions.
“Eulen, Eulen, you’re no good. Treat your workers like you should,” was chanted by the former employees.
They’re protesting Eulen America, a company that subcontracts workers to provide ground support services to airlines.
Grant worked as a wheelchair attendant and says he lost his job on March 19th. Workers claim the company received millions through the Federal CARES Act to help keep jobs.
“They did receive $25 million in aid, that was supposed to go to the payroll to help some of these workers keep their jobs and get these workers jobs back, and they’re not doing that,” said Grant.
The former Eulen workers marched along with union supporters, holding signs reading Black Lives Matter—Black Work Matters. They say many of the employees affected are black or immigrants.
“They unjustly terminated us and they’re trying to use the COVID-19 as an excuse to get rid of some of their most seasoned workers,” said Grant.
Local 10 News received a statement from Sen. Rick Scott’s office, which read:
While Senator Scott supported the CARES Act, there were many provisions that he disagreed with, including bailing out airlines and other large corporations. In April, Senator Scott sent a letter to the airlines requesting information on how they plan to protect workers and customers throughout the coronavirus pandemic. He also urged airlines to use taxpayer dollars they receive from the CARES Act wisely. He received responses from the associations, but did not hear back from any individual airline.
Senator Scott requested meetings with airline CEOs to get an explanation about why they took billions in taxpayer dollars if they plan to furlough thousands of employees. He looks forward to speaking with them.