Issued February 08, 2024
Mary Kay Henry, International President of the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement in response to today’s Federal Aviation Administration mark-up:
WASHINGTON, DC – “The Senate Commerce Committee failed to write in fair wage and benefit standards for 340,000 airport service workers, instead advancing an FAA Reauthorization package that won’t actually fix what’s broken in our dysfunctional air travel system.
You may not always see them, but it’s the majority Black, brown and immigrant airport service workers who make air travel possible by cleaning planes, hauling baggage, escorting passengers, securing our airports and more. Yet, these workers are held back by airlines and corporations – the same corporations that have gotten a free pass from Congress for too long, even as they benefit from billions of public dollars. They are juicing their own profits and paying their executives millions, all while failing to ensure fair wages, affordable healthcare or paid time off for airport service workers.
The revised Good Jobs for Good Airports wage and benefit standards would cost taxpayers nothing and account for a drop in the bucket of airline annual revenues, estimates show. The measure would lift 10,000 people out of poverty and help build a more resilient, experienced workforce in airports from coast to coast. That’s why it’s outrageous that the FAA Reauthorization legislation at present includes the corporate wish list without accountability for those same corporations to ensure fair wages, affordable healthcare and paid time off for the blue-collar airport service workforce that keeps our airports safe, clean and running.
We urge both the U.S. House and Senate to consider amendments to include the revised Good Jobs for Good Airports wage and benefit standards in the FAA Reauthorization package as it progresses toward final passage. We are grateful to Senator Markey and Congressman García who have worked tirelessly to give voice to airport service workers and push for these desperately needed standards. Now, it’s time for Congress to collectively stand up for the working people whose votes they depend on. Airport service workers have spent the last year raising their voices, taking to the streets and even going on strike to demand Good Jobs for Good Airports – and we won’t back down until we win.”