This Sunday, tens of thousands of people will descend into the Phoenix area for Super Bowl LVII. For those flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, I’ll be there when you land, providing wheelchair assistance to passengers who need help accessing the airport and helping make sure passengers get to where they are going.
Football fans, members of the media, and everyone flying in for the game probably don’t realize it, but it takes a lot to ensure the airport can handle that huge increase in passengers. It takes the hard work of all airport service workers – from baggage handlers to cabin cleaners and wheelchair agents – to make sure that flights land and take off on time, and passengers get to where they need to go.
As a Passenger Service Agent (PSA), I help passengers who need wheelchair assistance get around the terminal and to their destination safely. It’s not an easy job, but it’s really rewarding and I enjoy helping passengers out. But it really bothers me that despite everything I put into this job, I’m not paid enough, I don’t have time off to see my family, and I don’t have the healthcare benefits to be able to care for myself.
I’m only paid $14 an hour, and most of my pay goes to my rent. I can barely afford food or do the things I enjoy. To be honest, I’m not really a football fan, but I do enjoy MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). I joined an MMA gym a few months ago and really love the sport and staying active, but I had to stop going because I just couldn't afford it.
I’m not alone. So many airport service workers are struggling -- here in Phoenix and across the country. We work really hard to make sure that air travel is possible and that passengers travel safely, but we are treated like we’re disposable, and many don’t have the pay or benefits we need and deserve.
Airport workers can’t wait any longer for corporations making greed-driven decisions to do what’s right. That’s why we’re calling on Congress to stand with us and support the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act. This bill would improve airport service worker jobs by setting wage and benefits standards at more than 130 covered airports, and we airport service workers would have more of what we need to support ourselves and our families. This is a win-win for working people and passengers!
We might be the underdogs against the big billion dollar airlines, but when working people come together as a team and make our voices heard, I know we will pull off the upset and win the wages and benefits we deserve. When we fight, we win!
By Dejohnne Lacy, Passenger Service Agent (PSA) at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport