Group makes push for worker raises at Logan
A group of Massport workers backed by a Boston city councilor are making a push for raises for contract employees at Logan International Airport after their scheduled pay hikes were derailed by the pandemic.
Backed by Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, the group plans to demand raises at Massport’s monthly board meeting today.
The meeting will be held via Zoom. Edwards, along with contracted wheelchair attendants, cabin cleaners, baggage handlers and other workers, will meet at 9 a.m. in Porzio Park in East Boston and tell the board that they and their families have been struggling financially because they were laid off last year due to the pandemic, and they did not receive their usual, annual raise this year.
“The Black, brown and immigrant essential workers serving Logan airport are in desperate need of economic relief following a harrowing 19 months for them and their communities,” said Roxana Rivera, executive vice president of 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union.
“At the height of the pandemic in Spring 2020, the majority of these over 2,500 workers were laid off after risking their lives on the front lines of COVID, and without economic support, they may never recover. Massport and the airlines have received billions in pandemic government relief, and now it’s time for essential workers to get some relief, too,” she continued.
After making their case, they will go to Massport’s headquarters at 1 Harborside Drive and attempt to deliver postcards from more than 300 airport workers, detailing their hardships over the last 19 months.
In a statement on Wednesday, the agency said: “Massport is thankful for all the essential workers who work at Logan International Airport and our other facilities. Since 2017, Massport has required contract service companies (CSOs) at Logan to pay above the state minimum wage. These workers are not Massport employees. Currently, CSOs at Logan are required to pay their employees a minimum of $15.00 an hour.”
Amanda Torres-Price, a 32BJ SEIU spokeswoman, said about 1,000 of the approximately 2,500 people who work at the airport do not have a union.
“So if we talk to every contractor, only some people will get raises,” TorresPrice said. “Massport has the power and, we think, the responsibility to influence these contractors to raise the minimum raise for everyone who works at the airport.”