Contact Us
Make My Homepage

NYC Area Airport Workers Vote to Join Union

Several thousand contract workers employed at the New York City area’s major airports voted Monday to join a union after campaigning for better pay and benefits.

Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport (Chris Hondros, Getty Images)

The workers cheered as representatives from about a dozen major airport contractors stood and announced their support for joining the union in a packed room at Riverside Church in Harlem. About 4,000 workers signed cards expressing their wish to join the 32BJ Service Employees International Union, including baggage handlers, security officers, cabin and terminal cleaners and others.

“No longer can we tolerate poverty conditions,” said the union’s president, Hector Figueroa. “And no longer can we remain invisible.”

At the front of the room, beneath a wide stone archway, sat several union workers who were counting the number of signed cards. One wall was covered with a list of workers’ names.

About 12,000 contracted passenger service workers are employed at John F. Kennedy Airport, La Guardia and Newark Liberty. About 2,300 of them belong to other unions. Another 1,000 workers belong to 32BJ and are employed by other contractors with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airports.

Workers are taking a step toward receiving a living wage and health benefits by voicing their support for the union, Figueroa said. He pointed out that many contracted workers who perform the same duties at the city’s major airports are paid unequal wages depending on which contractor they work for.

“We’re with you because we know your cause is just and it is right,” said former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, who donned a purple baseball cap with the union’s name printed on it.

Prince Jackson, who works for the airport contractor Air Serv, said he had been fighting for this day for three and a half years.

“Our fight is far, far from over,” he said. “My co-workers and I will keep fighting until Air Serv gives us a fair contract.”

 

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!