December 20, 2013
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—Airport workers from the region’s three major airports gathered outside the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey offices on Park Avenue South to present petitions asking the agency to improve their working conditions, by granting a paid day off this upcoming Martin Luther King holiday.
Prince Jackson works as a security officer for AirServ, one of several contractors the major airlines outsource various job titles such as security officers, baggage handlers, skycaps and terminal cleaners. He had the honor of handing off the petitions to Patrick J. Foye, the Port Authority’s Executive Director.
Mr. Jackson said in an interview that he and several of his co-workers had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Foye last year, but still there’s no improvement in their working conditions.
Prince noted he and many co-workers are only earning $8 an hour and get minimal or no health benefits and no paid holidays.
“We’re back again [to meet with Mr. Foye] with a petition to have MLK day as a paid holiday. That’s a start,” said Jackson.
Mr. Foye accepted the petitions and told Jackson and other airport workers that he’s a former 32BJ member and the union helped to pay his way through college.
When asked if he’ll be processing the petitions, Mr. Foye said the agency would be reviewing them.
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