WHAT: Airport Workers MLK Day March for Good Jobs at Newark Liberty International Airport
WHO: Newark, JFK and LaGuardia airport workers; U.S. Senator Cory Booker and other elected officials; Rev. Tim Graff; 32BJ President Hector Figueroa and other union leaders and members
WHEN: Monday, January 15, 2018, at 12:00 pm
WHERE: Newark Liberty International Airport, Terminal B
VISUALS: Hundreds of marching workers with banners for MLK Day and giant photo banner that airport workers will carry through the terminal
Newark, NJ — On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, hundreds of airport workers will gather and march at Newark Liberty International Airport to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and echo his call for justice and equality for all workers. The workers are calling for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to set a family-sustaining wage and benefit plan that will enable them to take care of their families and to keep our New York City-area airports ready, safe and strong for passengers.
The march comes a day before Phil Murphy’s swearing in as the new governor of New Jersey and marks a turning point in the workers’ campaign as they now have strong political allies in New York and New Jersey.
Backed by strong support from Governor-elect Murphy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, airport workers are urging the Port Authority Commissioners to set a standard that will ensure the 40,000 contracted airport workers at the three NYC-area airports can support themselves and their families and stay in their jobs longer building up their expertise so that they can help passengers get to their destinations quickly and safely.
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has been an important part of airport workers’ campaign for good jobs. Dr. King’s legacy as a fighter for racial justice and worker justice has inspired the thousands of airport workers who have organized their work place, fought to raise the minimum wage and are now fighting for good wages and benefits for all contracted airport workers at Newark, JFK and LaGuardia airports. On MLK Day in 2014, as airport workers ramped up their campaign for good jobs and a union, they marched and staged an act of civil disobedience along with elected officials, clergy and community members who were arrested as they sat down on the 94th Street Bridge leading into LaGuardia Airport. This will be the fifth year NYC-area airport workers march with their supporters to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Last November airport workers at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark launched their Ready, Safe, Strong campaign to call on the Port Authority to finally establish family-sustaining wages, meaningful benefits and training for airport workers so that they can keep passengers safe and take care of their families. They will do everything they can to make this a reality in 2018.
With 163,000 members in 11 states and Washington DC, including more than 8,000 New York City-area airport workers, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.