Outrage as JFK, LGA, EWR Contracted Airport Workers Experience Massive Layoffs, While Airlines Ask Taxpayers for $60 Billion Bailout

Madeleine Ball, 347-602-3129, mball@seiu32bj.org

Michael Allen, 646-923-0884, mallen@seiu32bj.org

Outrage as JFK, LGA, EWR Contracted Airport Workers Experience Massive Layoffs, While Airlines Ask Taxpayers for $60 Billion Bailout

Demand comes days after airlines ask government for $60 Billion Bailout in light of COVID-19 pandemic. 

The following statement is attributable to Kyle Bragg, President of 32BJ SEIU:

“Possibly thousands of 32BJ SEIU subcontracted passenger service workers received layoff notices today. They are frontline cabin cleaners, terminal cleaners, customer service, baggage claim and wheelchair attendant workers at the nation’s busiest airport system. They care for our elderly and disabled loved ones, they move our baggage, they clean planes from national and international destinations, and they interact with hundreds of thousands of passengers from around the world. They are the most at risk in the face of this global pandemic, and they are the least who can afford to lose wages and benefits during this time of crisis.

“This week, airlines asked the government to give them a $60 billion bailout in the form of loans, grants and tax relief. The contracted airport workers receive nothing. They earn the least yet risk themselves the most. Many lack healthcare to even care for themselves in the face of this pandemic.

“While the President signed legislation granting paid sick leave to workers, this law doesn’t apply to the contracted airport workers because many are employed by companies with 500 or more employees.

“During this global pandemic, these workers have stepped forward to do their jobs. We are demanding the airlines and Congress not forget the most vulnerable workers when they receive their bailout.”

 

With more than 175,000 members in 11 states and Washington, D.C., 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

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