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Our Stories: Walter Thomas

June 13, 2022

Walter Thomas is a security guard at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). He has worked at the airport for 10 years, ensuring that the airport’s hangars and warehouses are safe and secure.

Despite keeping travelers, pilots, and everyone else at the airport and surrounding communities safe, Walter only makes $14.20 an hour and receives no health benefits.

This July, a Prevailing Wage Law will go into effect for workers at PHL which will raise the wages for Walter and his coworkers to $15.06 and give them the healthcare they need and deserve. These job improvements came from the hard work of airport workers in Philly, who made their voices heard and demanded they be respected, protected and paid for the important work they do.

It’s unacceptable that it takes legislation to push airlines that make billions to do the right thing and pay and take care of the workers who keep the airports they use running. Without workers like Walter, air travel to and from Philadelphia couldn’t happen.

This May, Walter joined airport workers from around the country for a rally in Washington, D.C. and called on members of Congress to step up and make sure that ALL airport workers have good, union jobs that allow them to take care of their families.

“We need to make sure that airport workers across the country are getting the wages and benefits that we work hard for. No airport could run without us: the security guards, the cabin cleaners, the luggage handlers, and so many more under appreciated jobs that make airline travel happen,” said Walter at the rally.