Hi, I'm Diana from Chicago. Maybe you saw me on TV at the State of the Union Address?! In early February I was invited by my Congressman Chuy Garcia to attend and represent airport workers everywhere—a chance I jumped at immediately, despite my life being so hectic!
I have five kids ranging in ages from 6 to 18, and I consistently work 10-hour days, all on my feet at Midway International Airport, helping travelers who are elderly or passengers with disabilities as a Passenger Service Assistant. Many of those days seem to never end! Sometimes I’m forced into mandatory overtime with no exceptions—and the threat of being written up if I don’t comply. It’s days like those that I know this treatment, on top of poor pay, cannot go on!
But, even if my days are long, I haven’t lost hope. Why? Because I’m a dedicated member of SEIU Local 1. Being part of my union (including traveling to Washington, D.C.) has been so, so worth it.
Without my co-workers and I working together in our union, I just know we’d feel hopeless and unsure about how to better our jobs and our lives for ourselves and our families. With our union, we have a path forward and hope in a better future.
That path forward is made up of a lot of things, but one important aspect is the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act. This bill (reintroduced today, March 9, 2023!) will be a game changer for me, my family, and my co-workers. It should go without saying, but airport service workers help keep our economy and our world connected. We have earned and deserve what this legislation will provide. This is the start we need to ensure we have living wages, healthcare, sick days, sufficient staffing and adequate protections on the job.
Good Jobs for Good Airports will establish living wage and benefits standards for covered hub airports across the country. It’s a win-win. By turning airport service jobs into good-paying jobs with benefits, we can help stabilize the workforce and keep travelers on time. We’ve called on airlines to take this step themselves, but our demands have gone unanswered. In order to ensure airport service workers like myself are being protected, respected, and paid, this bill must pass!
The impact of the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act will be widespread. At Midway International Airport, my co-workers and I have roles ranging from baggage handlers to wheelchair agents to fuelers to cabin cleaners to janitors and to security officers. Imagine hundreds of thousands of airport service workers at more than 100 airports across the country who will be covered and who are united together to demand Congress pass this bill!
Whether an airport service worker or not, no matter our race, background or role, we should have a stable workplace that pays a living wage, provides access to affordable healthcare & paid time off, and gives that oh-so-critical voice on the job. I am fighting for this every day, with my union, my co-workers, and working people who care across the country. Now, we just need elected leaders to step up and show they care too!
Join us! We have persistently worked with members of Congress to introduce the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act, now we just need to make it law! CLICK HERE and tell your member of Congress to show their support. With our advocacy and unity, we can make it happen!