Airport workers were ready to draw attention to the myriad issues they face at the workplace, including health and safety violations, unfair labor practices, and inadequate training. They are organizing as part of a national movement for better jobs, higher standards and improved airports.
"We need critical training to protect ourselves, other workers and the passengers if there were to be an emergency," said security officer Sadaf Subijano, who has worked at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport for 20 years. Despite playing a crucial role in helping to keep the airport safe, Subijano and her fellow officers working for Universal Security do not receive the critical training they need for their own safety, to protect other employees and the traveling public.
"As a union that represents nearly 20,000 contract airport service workers in over 30 U.S. airports, as well as security screeners at San Francisco International Airport, our union takes seriously the need to ensure the safety and security of U.S. airports," said Valarie Long, SEIU International Executive Vice President. "SEIU supports efforts to improve airport safety and security through policies that set minimum labor and training standards for airport contractors and provide incentives for airport workers to stay in their jobs long-term. SEIU strongly believes that airports, the Federal Aviation Administration and other stakeholders need to come together to develop national safety standards."
Around the country, contracted airport workers are coming together in Airport Workers United, a movement of employees and their allies, raising their voices for $15 and union rights to make our airports safe and secure for passengers, employees and our communities. By sticking together, speaking out for change, and going on strike, these employees have won wage increases in Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, N.J., Minneapolis, Boston, Philadelphia, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. More than 70,000 workers nationwide have either received wage increases or other improvements, including healthcare, paid sick leave and worker retention policies as a result of the campaign.
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