“People may feel it’s only $3 an hour, but it makes a big difference in my life,” said Ahmed Osman, a wheelchair assistant at Denver International Airport. Before the increase, he was earning $10.20 an hour.
“I was a doctor back in Sudan, and it is challenging to work in a minimum-wage situation,” he said. “This has freed up time for me to study for my medical licensing exams.”
Earlier this month, the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, instituted a $12-an-hour minimum for airport workers that will go into effect in 2021. Currently, some airport workers make less than $9 an hour, not much more than national minimum wage.
“I have to try to make ends meet,” said Quintina Moore-Caraway, 45, a ramp agent at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. “Everything in my house I’ve had to pawn. It’s hard to find a second job when you have a family.”