PHILADELPHIA – As the busiest travel day of the year approaches, City Council is considering legislation to improve conditions at the airport for passengers and airport workers alike. On Wednesday at 10:00am, City Council Committee on Commerce & Economic Development will hold a special hearing on labor peace legislation for airport workers which would help to resolve labor disputes and ensure smooth operations at The Philadelphia International Airport.
Unrest at PHL has been mounting following concerns raised by workers over unsafe work conditions and potential exposure to infectious diseases. Additionally, subcontracted airport workers have yet to receive a raise six months after Philadelphia voters overwhelmingly supported a hike to $10.88 an hour.
Low wages and poor working conditions have elevated the risk of strikes and other disruptions at PHL, prompting Councilman Wilson Goode Jr. to introduce labor peace legislation. As the holiday travel season fast approaches, Council members fear the City’s revenue and airport operations are at risk if labor disputes are not prevented.
Airport workers, airline industry experts, clergy and labor leaders will testify Wednesday on how labor harmony will lead to a more prosperous airport and a stronger Philadelphia.
The airport brings more than $14 billion in economic activity to the area, but many of the workers there do not reap the benefits. To cut costs, airlines like Philadelphia’s largest carrier, U.S. Airways, outsource passenger service jobs to low bid contractors. This low-bid system leaves the sky caps, cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants and baggage handlers who make the airport run making as little as $7.25 an hour, without access to affordable health benefit or sick days.
WHAT: City Council Hearing on Labor Harmony at PHL
WHO: Airport workers, industry experts, clergy, labor leaders
WHEN: Wednesday, November 19, 10:00am
WHERE: Council chambers, City Hall, 4th Floor
With 145,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 22,000 in Pennsylvania, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.