January 23, 2019
Our nation’s airports have become ground zero in the fight for living wages and union rights. For too long, airport workers have struggled to make ends meet on low pay despite working hard to keep us safe and keep our airports running every day. Now, frontline TSA agents and air traffic controllers are being forced to work without pay because President Trump is using workers as bargaining chips in his scheme to build a wall that a majority of Americans do not want.
At Boston’s Logan Airport on Martin Luther King Day, Senator Elizabeth Warren stood with airport workersand said that it is time to “send a message to Donald Trump: Open our government, pay people for their work, respect our workers.”
Left with no other choice, a rising number of TSA agents are calling out sick across the country. In the fifth week of the government shutdown, the call-out rate hit a record of 10%.Just last week at the Baltimore airport—the latest airport to close a security checkpoint—airport workers ralliedfor fair wages and an end to the shutdown.
The American people can see through these attempts to distract and divide us, and we are joining together to make an America filled with opportunity for everyone, of every color.Elected leaders in Congress need to get to work on the issues voters care about: higher wages, the opportunity to join a union, affordable healthcare and commonsense immigration reform.
At the state and local level, many elected leaders are standing with airport workers and are doing just that. Last year, with the support of local elected leaders, 40,000 airport workers at JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports spoke out, organized, and won a minimum wage of $19 an hourand thousands moreatSFOwon $17 an hour.
Despite the dysfunction created by President Trump, Mayors and local elected officials are showing that they have the power to improve the lives of working people and make our cities a place where a hard day’s work is rewarded with fair pay and a voice on the job.