Airport workers just keep winning. More than 800 service workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport just ratified a new union contract by a near unanimous vote that improves our jobs even more.
The airport workers—white, Black, and brown—who make Sea-Tac run have proven that when we come together across our differences, anything is possible. We were the first in the nation to win $15 and a union. Now we’ve secured new protections and benefits, including a defined 40-hour workweek, five additional paid days off, the ability to cash out accrued sick time when we change to another union job, and a new labor-management committee.
“What we thought was impossible, we actually made possible,” says Bargaining Team Member Saba Belachew. “With this new contract, we keep uniting to make things better. We’ll get more job stability because it limits arbitrary write-ups. And in my opinion, the best part is the 90 days unpaid extended leave. It’s a win-win because the employers want to reduce hours in the slow season, and workers whose families live abroad will have enough time to make the trip.”
Last year, we served nearly 47 million passengers on 416,124 aircraft at Sea-Tac. We contributed an estimated $22.5 billion to the economy in Washington State. Because we stood up for each other across the airport, we are transforming our jobs so that we are sharing in the progress and profits we create.
“I was here for the Fight for $15, and the difference between the airport then and now is huge. These used to be part-time, temporary jobs with no job security. Now we have career,” says Eleni Senebeto, passenger services worker at Sea-Tac.
The contract covers wheelchair agents, skycaps, ramp agents, cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, and other service workers employed by G2 Secure Staff, ABM, and Huntleigh USA.
Since the movement of airport workers began, nearly 120,000 people have come together and won raises and other job improvements. More than 25,000 have won a union with SEIU. We will keep speaking out and building our movement until airport workers in every country win fair wages and union rights.