January 23, 2014
By Neal Tepel, LaborPress Publisher
“There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American whether… a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid, or day laborer,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Over 12,000 employees at our city’s airports earn at or near minimum wage with no benefits and no paid time off. These are the men and women who clean airplanes, maintain security, and move luggage.
Some earn so little they must go on food stamps just to provide for their family. 32BJ has taken on the fight to improve the working conditions and pay of these hard working airport workers.
These employees of Airway Cleaners/Alstate Maintenance, PrimeFlight, AirServ and Aviation Safeguard earn poverty wages without affordable health care benefits or paid sick days while airlines are making record profits. The airports, run by the Port Authority, are seeing record number of passengers—111.6 million in 2013, beating the 2007 figure by more than 1.5 million. Airport passenger service workers, meanwhile, are underpaid and not appreciated.
“It is an honor to stand with these courageous men and women who are asking only for decent wages, good benefits and to be treated with dignity and respect,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa. “We will continue to fight for these workers."