By Limya Mousa, Baggage Handler, Dallas Fort-Worth Airport in Dallas, TX
Hi, I'm Limya. I've been a baggage handler for American Airlines at Dallas-Fort Worth airport since 2017. I make $15/hr, the same as I did when I started 6 years ago. Even worse: some of my co-workers, who've worked there for over 20 years, are also stuck at $15.
I live with my husband and two daughters in a small apartment in Dallas. We can’t afford the American Airlines health insurance, despite me working a second job and my husband working way more than 40 hours a week (as a security guard at the airport). I fear the day when one of us will get sick. I personally haven’t seen a dentist in 8 years. And my kids constantly ask when we can move into a bigger place.
I’m from Sudan, and we rarely return to visit my parents. We only have enough money to pay our bills, and barely that.
I wish we could travel to see my parents.
I wish we could buy a home, one with more space.
I wish we could provide our kids with yearly medical checkups.
I wish I only worked one job so I could spend more quality time with my kids and husband.
Meanwhile, my AA co-workers and I do the work of multiple workers since turnover is so high and staffing is so low. Often, I’m at DFW from 6am until 10pm due to no relief from other workers. For example, there should be one worker at each baggage claim in the terminal, meaning 4 people on a shift, but we often only have one person. This means that as that one person, you’re running back and forth between baggage claims on your own.
This doesn't make any sense for anyone, particularly passengers. In order to serve our customers, there must be an adequate number of workers, but that won't happen unless our jobs are greatly improved upon. It’s time for Congress to enact what we call Good Jobs for #GoodAirports wage and benefits standards, which is fair pay, decent benefits, respect, and dignity on the job. This would improve travel for passengers and help thousands of families like mine across the country.
And it can happen. AA reported $49 billion in revenue last year! And did you know that these airliners benefit from billions of government dollars?!
It’s a choice. Will Congress choose to be on the side of airport passengers and workers OR on the side of greedy airline corporations?!
Please Join Me and My Co-Workers in our Good Jobs for #GoodAirports movement to demand that Congress step in to ensure airport service workers are paid fair wages, afforded healthcare benefits, and given paid sick leave.