Airport Workers Across the Nation Protest Low Wages

By Paul Riegler on 18 January 2016
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LaGuardia Airport

LaGuardia Airport

The cold wave hitting many parts of the country did not stop airport workers from protesting for higher wages on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

Many of the protests were organized by the Service Employees International Union Local 1 and advocated for a minimum wage of $15 per hour for airport workers. The job actions took place at airports in Boston, Chicago, Miami, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

The protests were intended to “to reclaim the dignity that should come with a hard day’s work,” said the union, which does not actually represent the workers, in a statement.

“It’s frustrating to have to live with my own son and rely on food stamps and public assistance,” said Valentine Hough, a mother of five who works as an overnight cabin cleaner.”

At Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport, where over 200 workers had gathered, Port Authority police arrested 12 after they sat down in a circle and blocked traffic on the departure level’s elevated roadway.

At Logan International Airport in Boston, six workers who refused to leave were arrested after troopers ordered the group of about 110 to disperse.

In Seattle, baggage and ramp workers employed by Menzies Aviation, which supplies services to Alaska Airlines and other airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, marched at the airport to bring attention to their campaign for higher wages.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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