I think every shop steward should be training someone else and that person can be training someone else too.

~ Maurice Thomas, 32BJ Member, DC/VA/MD

Emmanuel Sebit: A Hell of a Job


I came to America running away from war and political unrest. With my home country of South Sudan caught up in an endless conflict, I wanted peace more than anything. So I came to America, the land of opportunity. I’ve found security and I’m grateful. But for almost two years at Logan Airport, I, along with over 1,500 contracted service workers, have worked under hellish conditions.

So recently I decided to quit. I couldn’t handle it anymore. Why? The low pay –$8 an hour.  It was so low that I had to rely on food stamps to get by. Without benefits – no sick time or vacation– it was impossible for me to take care of myself when I was sick or try to improve my life by going to school. And the lack of respect—I dealt with insults and intimidation that were hurtful and humiliating.

I’ve carried heavy baggage before but this load was too much to handle.

Airport workers perform essential duties to make the gateways to our cities safe and welcoming. We clean terminals and aircrafts, push wheelchairs, handle baggage, check tickets and work to keep airports safe and secure. But to cut costs, the airlines have outsourced thousands of jobs that once belonged to their own employees. To replace them, airlines hire low-bid contractors, often irresponsible ones, creating a race to the bottom for wages and benefits.

I spent 11 years living in a refugee camp in Kenya, but there at least I always had the hope of something better. Between having my hygiene questioned and going to work when I was sick just to make ends meet, life at the airport felt unbearable. Sometimes I think that working for G2 Secure Staff at Logan Airport was worse than living in the camp.

Thankfully, the office of Massachusetts’ Attorney General is taking action. On July 23, the AG ordered ReadyJet, one of the largest contractors at Logan, to pay employees $13,045 restitution plus a civil penalty of $5,000. The investigation, involving more than 30 workers at ReadyJet continues. But workers need change at the airport. A change that gives them dignity and a voice.

Most airport workers play by the rules. They work hard every day to keep the airport running. Now they demand living wages and benefits, better and safer working conditions and the right to have a union. In the land of opportunity, is that too much to ask?


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Marla Blunt: A Pittsburgh That Works for Working People
Muniru Owe: A Call to Action
Maria Trejo: Optimism Is a Necessity of Life
Veteran and Security Officer Jeremy Birchwood: ‘Every person deserves a living wage’
Dominise Wright: A Leader for Airport Workers
Teresa Mancheno: Justice for Janitors
Sarina Santos: Better Conditions for Philly Airport Workers!
Baltimore Members on Poverty, Police and Community
Aliyya Lee: Why I Fight!
Christopher Savoy: Fed Up But Not Giving Up
Richard Adams: I Refuse to Be the Norm
New Brigade Hits the Ground Running
Antonio Barnes: Restoring Faith in the Political Process
Marcus Garland: High Stakes in PA
Beatriz Hernandez: Politics Matter
Jose Luz Sanchez: Worker Justice and Immigrant Justice
Assade Vedrine: Fighting to Keep His Family Together
Emmanuel Sebit: A Hell of a Job
Michael Greene: Now We Have A Voice
Shirley Newell: Fighting for What We Deserve
Robb Archigian: A Fair Contract For All Of Us
Cesar Coronel: Your Fight Is My Fight
Scott Cohen: I’ll Be There on April 2nd!
Antonio Toro: It’s All the Same City
Raymond Vazquez: Making Ends Meet
Derbert King: Keep the Focus on What’s Important
Eugene Amankwah: Making New York Home
Larry Teachey
Leroy Abramson
John Kenney
Gregg Bandy
Kelly Mahaffey
Heleodora Caraballo
Alejandro Rojas
Brenda Mitchell-Dolor: Finding Power You Didn’t Realize You Have
Simon Torres: A Great Guide in a City of Immigrants
Lance Mann: Research Brigader
Ciro Gutierrez
Maria Ramirez
Leslie Williams
Fred Roldan
Anthony Faulk
Jay Etheridge
Anna Dziubek
Maurice Thomas
Delores Perry
Victoria Carbajal
Willie Lucas
Yohanny Peguero
Yeny Nuñez
Kim Squirrel
Justin Foglia