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Over Memorial Day weekend, a planned strike by fuel workers at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens was averted after Governor Kathy Hochul stepped in to help settle the labor dispute. Teamsters Local 553, representing 300 workers and mechanics who fuel commercial and cargo jets at the airport, reached a tentative deal for a new labor contract with Allied Aviation Services, the private firm that services the planes at the regional airports. The union had been working without a new contract since June 30, 2023, and planned to strike on the first day of Memorial Day weekend, potentially leaving planes stranded on runways.

In a previous dispute in 2005, the union had gone on strike over compensation and health care issues, showing that the threat of a strike was not idle. Hochul personally intervened by calling Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton to urge the parties to resolve the impasse. Her office also reached out to representatives with the Teamsters to facilitate negotiations. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey oversees JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports, and Governor Hochul’s involvement helped prevent potential disruptions for travelers over the holiday weekend.

Governor Hochul, along with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, appointed the leadership that runs the bi-state agency overseeing the airports. In a statement to The Post, Hochul expressed her commitment to ensuring that New Yorkers could travel to see their families and friends without any disruptions. Teamsters Local 553 Secretary-Treasurer Demos Demopoulos also expressed relief that an agreement had been reached and a strike had been averted. The union is hopeful that the deal will be ratified by its members, although specific details of the contract were not disclosed until members had the opportunity to review and approve it.

A spokesperson for the Port Authority mentioned that they were pleased that the union and the company had reached a tentative agreement, indicating a positive outcome to the negotiations. Brian Xavier, the general manager for Allied Aviation Services at JFK airport, declined to provide any comments on the situation. Overall, Governor Hochul’s intervention helped prevent a potentially disruptive strike during the busy Memorial Day weekend, ensuring that travelers were not impacted by any labor disputes at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens.

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