Newark, New Jersey — The Municipal Council of the City of Newark passed a resolution in support of the Good Jobs, Good Aiports pledge, and encourages all airlines operating at Newark Liberty International to commit to providing their direct and subcontracted service workforce with higher wages, quality healthcare, paid time off, and respecting workers’ rights to join a union at all airports in which they operate.
The resolution comes on the heels of a national day of action in more than 20 cities on March 30, when workers gathered at airport terminals and airlines’ corporate headquarters in support of airport workers at Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Washington, D.C and more. They demanded American Airlines, United, Delta and Jet Blue sign the Good Jobs, Good Airports pledge to take real steps to address poverty level pay and the lack of worker protections. They called on airline CEOs to sign the pledge, take responsibility for this workforce, and invest in good jobs and good airports.
Even though most workers at Newark International Airport are protected under their collective bargaining agreement and the Healthy Terminals Act, they stood in support of their fellow workers amid a national uprising that has seen essential workers across industries fed up and demanding change. They were joined by Reverend Louise Roundtree, Councilwoman LaMonica McIver, and Municipal Council President Luis Quintana.
“In passing this resolution, the Municipal Council proudly stands with airport workers in the City of Newark and nationwide. As the largest city in the state, we take our duty to protect the workers very seriously. We strongly believe that the country’s recovery needs to be based on job security, stability and the worker’s physical, mental, and economic wellbeing,” said Municipal Council President Luis Quintana. “
By signing the Good Airports Pledge, the airlines would commit to: acknowledge that airlines have the ability and responsibility to end poverty-wage jobs and inequity through the system; ensure the billions of public dollars airlines receive annually serves the public good, not just shareholders and executives; set a minimum wage and benefit standard guaranteeing all workers are paid living wages and provided affordable, quality healthcare and paid time off; respect workers’ right to join together in a union; and ensure contracts with airport service providers meet the airline’s wage and benefits standards and encourage contractors to be neutral when workers organize a union.
“We are grateful to the City of Newark for supporting all airport workers with this resolution,” said Dayshon Beeks, lift truck driver at Newark International Airport and a member of the bargaining committee. “It is our hope that all airline carriers at Newark International commit to the Good Jobs, Good Airports so that we can all face the future and continue to strengthen our families, our communities, and ourselves. All airport workers should have the same protections”
“We commend the Municipal Council in the City of Newark for recognizing the value of all its workers and passing this resolution,” said Keven Brown, 32BJ SEIU Executive Vice-president and NJ State Director “Airport workers play a key role in our post-pandemic recovery. After two years defined by calls for racial justice and the safety of our essential workers, it is time to create a nationwide standards. Airlines have the power of change the lives on thousands of workers nationwide and propel our airports to a recovery that puts working people first.”
With 175,000 members in 11 states, including 16,000 across airports up and down the East Coast, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country