Airport workers' loud and proud demands to be respected, protected and paid, were heard on Capitol Hill. The Good Jobs for Good Airports Act of 2022 introduced in Congress will help ensure every airport job is a good one that allows workers to not just survive, but also support their family with good wages, affordable healthcare and critical protections like paid sick leave.
Airport workers joined Senator Ed Markey (MA), Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT), Representative Chuy Garcia (IL-04), and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) in Washington D.C. to introduce the legislation.
The Good Jobs and Good Airports Act of 2022 will:
- Establish a minimum wage and benefit standard for airport service workers at large, medium, and small hub airports.
- Put airport service workers on a path to living wages.
- Require commercial airport recipients of federal assistance to certify they will ensure the airport service workers at that airport are paid no less than the wages and benefits required under the Service Contract Act (SCA) or no less than a local minimum wage that is higher than the wage and benefits under the SCA. This is the same wage and benefit standard the federal government requires for its own direct service contracts.
- Add accountability to the public resources already being invested in airports to ensure they support a largely Black, brown and immigrant-led workforce while making our airports safer and more secure by lowering turnover and increasing the number of trained frontline workers.
“Just as airplanes don’t fly without pilots, our aviation system would collapse without airport service workers. Unfortunately, airport workers are often overworked and underpaid. This isn’t just bad for workers, it’s bad for travelers too,” said Senator Ed Markey.
Earlier this year, airport workers called on airlines to address the poverty level jobs at airports. But without a response from airline CEOs, airport workers took these demands to their elected officials.
“I’m here humbly to ask all of Congress to pass this bill,” said Ababuti Oloki, a skycap at Boston Logan International Airport.
While some airport service workers have won higher wages and benefits in a growing number of states, localities, and airport authorities, many major airports still lack any minimum standards other than the minimum wage. An airport service worker in one city can be making $18/hour for the same job that a worker in another city is making as little as $8/hour.
“The safety of everyone in the planes depends on us but we’re not respected for the work we do. We make low wages, said Verna Montalvo, a cabin cleaner at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
The Good Jobs for Good Airports Act of 2022 will set national wage and benefits levels for airport service workers at major airports that receive federal funding. It aims to stabilize air travel and ensure there is ample, trained staff to ensure a robust, safe and secure aviation system.
The legislation has been endorsed by members of the Service Employees International Union, CWA, Unite Here!, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and National Conference of Firemen and Oilers (NCFO).
Read the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act here: https://www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/good_jobs_for_good_airports_act.pdf