A dispute over which company will wrap the luggage at Miami International Airport is getting more heated.
Safe Wrap, a local luggage wrapping company, lost its contract to True Star Group, an overseas based company, in 2010.
As the local company was removed, the majority of its employees lost their jobs and according to the employees, wrapping prices increased from $9 to $15 per bag. Under the company’s new proposal contract, they have recommended a $20 charge per bag.
“We had an existing job force of over 162 local employees from right here in this community,” said Daniel Valdespino from Safe Wrap. “Unfortunately when this company took over on Dec. 4 it left our job force out in the street- I say that because only 10 or 15 of our employees were hired.”
For Reynaldo Diaz, who lost his job, the change of companies has left him struggling for an income.
“They don't even give me the chance to apply for them,” said Diaz.
But the overseas company, True Star Group, said it should be allowed to remain dominating the airport’s wrapping business regardless of where their headquarters are located.
“The fact that we are a foreign concern has nothing to do with the fact that we working in Miami-Dade County,” said Carlos Gonzales from True Star Group. “We are employing citizens of Miami-Dade County.”
Miami Dade Mayor, Carlos A. Gimenez, who was hesitant to answer questions about the subject to NBC 6, sent a letter that recommends the international firm to set up a Florida office and get the lucrative work.
But the battle, which has been brewing behind the scenes for weeks at county hall, is set to be decided as the commission will vote on the item next week.
Many of the workers in the wrapping business remain skeptical despite Gonzales promising that if they continue to hold business at the airport, True Star will offer locals jobs.
“The company that gives the airport the greatest return--the most money--the greatest return on the percentage is the one that wins,” said Mayor Gimenez.