About 40 airport workers and members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 32BJ local marched at Philadelphia International Airport Monday, demanding that US Airways, the airport's largest airline, pressure subcontractors to improve wages and working conditions of 1,500 low-wage airport workers, such as skycaps and wheelchair attendants.
The march came one day before a Philadelphia City Council committee hearing Tuesday on a two-year lease extension between US Airways and other airlines and the city.
Community activists and an interfaith group plan to ask Council to amend the lease to require that the city's "living wage" standard, now in effect for companies with direct city contracts, be enforced for low-wage airport service jobs. The workers are employed by a subcontractor, PrimeFlight Aviation Services of Nashville. The city's minimum-wage and benefit standard of $10.88 an hour and paid sick days, drafted by Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. and adopted in 2005, has been interpreted by the city administration as not applying to subcontractors. - Linda Loyd