Airport subcontractors hopeful for minimum wage increase after ‘historic’ Washington decision

Invite-Brahim

Philadelphia airport workers will celebrate at City Hall on Friday a historic win for low-wage airport workers in Washington and call on Philadelphia officials to be the next city to raise wages.

The workers, to be joined by local faith and community groups, are back to fight for their wages after SeaTac, Washington residents voted to grant the highest minimum wage for airport workers there. More than 6,000 workers be making $15 an hour. A vote recount had been certified earlier this week.

Philadelphia airport subcontractors are hopeful the Washington decision helps May’s referendum in Philadelphia to increase the subcontractors’ wages to the same as area contractors.

“It’s very exciting for us to see SeaTac is changing their minimum wage to really what we would consider a living wage,” said Pati Krasensky, speaking on behalf of Philadelphians Organizing to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER), a group dedicated to bringing justice to the people of Philadelphia. “What this does is bring it into the news in a different way.”

In order to have a great international airport, Krasensky said, employees must be treated fairly. “I think it really highlights that in offering employees sick leave and health benefits and a fair minimum wage is really what needs to be done for these airports to be good airports. It’s not just really about the employees — although that’s a huge part — it’s about the overall health and economy of the airport.”

At 11 a.m. on Friday, airport subcontractors and faith and community groups will celebrate the win at City Hall. One airport subcontractor, Nikisha Watson, will tell her story. Watson, of West Philadelphia, has been working at the airport for four years. She cleans the planes and previously was employed as a wheelchair attendant. She makes $8.50 an hour — a “huge step up” she says from earning $5.25 with some tips as a wheelchair attendant.

“But it really doesn’t matter which contractor you work for,” Watson said, “because there are no across the board standards. Most of the contractors pay as little as they possibly can.”

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow City Editor Christina Paciolla on Twitter: @cpaciolla

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…