Philadelphia Airport Workers Just Won Big

Unions change peoples’ lives

By: Onetha McKnight, Wheelchair agent, Philadelphia International Airport

By: Onetha McKnight, Wheelchair agent, Philadelphia International Airport

My coworkers and I just won our first contract covering over 1,500 airport workers at the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). I have worked at PHL as a wheelchair agent for over 10 years and before we won our union, airport workers like me were breaking our backs to make poverty wages with no job security. That’s why my co-workers and I stood up for fair wages, dignity and a union at the airport—but we couldn’t do it alone.

Thousands of 32BJ members stood with us every step of the way for years until we won this first contract with pay increases, paid time off, and job protection. We more than doubled our wages since we began organizing to join our union. Time and time again, we came out to the picket lines together, we went on strike, and we showed up to City Hall to win $12/hour for workers like me. Because we showed solidarity and took action, our lives are better and our union is stronger.  

I am living proof that unions change peoples’ lives. Today I have a contract with strong wages and rights on the job, all because of our union. We are all in this together. When we fight, we win!

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