with Shareeka Elliot, a terminal cleaner at JFK’s Terminal 8 (American Airlines) for a contractor called Airway Cleaners, and Rob Hill, Vice President, Local 32BJ, SEIU
Thousands of employees of the largest private contractors at airports are protesting to call the public’s attention to the prevalence of poverty wages and poor working conditions that they say are creating a crisis for workers and the traveling public at the airports.
“Supporting yourself on $7.90 is hard,” Shareeka Elliott, a terminal cleaner for Airway Cleaners at JFK told the crowd. “Supporting yourself and two growing girls is nearly impossible. My take home wage does not begin to cover bills, daycare, and food for me and my daughters. I feel like I’m drowning in debt.”
“These are hard-working men and women doing some of the most vital jobs to keep our airports running smoothly and safely,” 32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa said. “They should not have to live in poverty to do it. Their families should not have to live without health care because they happen to be working at our airports.”
So, now during the busiest holiday travel season of the year workers are forced to take their complaints straight to the tarmac.