Airport employees’ demands for a living wage come amid air travel crisis

Mary Kay Henry, president of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) discusses the wage disparity between airline service workers across the United States, and how airline CEOs must invest in living wages to improve the air travel crisis. Segment originally aired on July 6, 2022.

Video Transcript

MARY KAY HENRY: A wheelchair attendant in Chicago is earning $18 an hour this month in July while the same attendant in Dallas is earning $8.00 an hour. Service workers in our nation's airports have been demanding unions for the past 20 years in 24 other airports, from JFK and LaGuardia to San Francisco, LAX, and Seattle.

Service workers in airports report a very acute level of stress that is due to understaffing and because, understandably, the traveling public is mad about delayed flights and cancellations. I think the CEOs of the major airlines-- American, Delta, and United-- are to blame. They have to make a decision to address the worker shortage by investing in living-wage jobs where people can join together in unions.