Newark—32BJ SEIU applauds Newark Mayor Ras Baraka for taking bold action to help airport workers and other low wage workers get what they deserve—a $15 minimum wage. The wage hike proposal is part of a broad executive order the mayor has signed to improve the city’s lease agreement with the Port Authority of NY/NJ.
“Mayor Baraka’s executive order is proof he doesn’t just talk the talk he takes action,” said Kevin Brown 32BJ SEIU Vice President and NJ State Director. “This law will maximize city assets and reap real benefits for the people of Newark. By seeking at least a $15 minimum wage, the mayor is giving hope and dignity to all workers, including the hardworking men and women at Newark Airport who are struggling to survive on poverty wages. It’s clear Mayor Baraka understands that when working people can afford more than the basics it’s good for families and the economy.”
Among the thousands of workers who are desperately in need of a family sustaining wage are Newark Airport workers. These hardworking cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, wheel chair attendants, sky caps and other contracted airport employees keep the airport safe and profitable but they get little in return.
“For far too long, contracted Newark Airport workers like me have struggled to survive on poverty wages while the airlines have enjoyed record profits,” said Steven Leone, a Newark Airport PrimeFlight worker who cleans United Airlines planes. “We thank Mayor Baraka for standing up for all hardworking men and women at our airports by calling on the Port Authority to do the right thing and raise the minimum wage to at least $15 so we can afford the basics and live with dignity.”
*About 32BJ: With 155,000 members in 11 states–including more than 11,000 in New Jersey–32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.