While airport workers push the Port of Portland to correct the racial and economic injustice of poverty jobs at PDX, a number of community leaders have stepped up to support them.
On January 27, the PDX Community Advisory Committee (CAC) – a roundtable of leaders from business, nonprofits, and government — endorsed the Airport Worker Bill of Rights and called on the Port of Portland to implement its three requirements: living wages, affordable health insurance, and sufficient paid time off.
The CAC endorsement passed by a vote of 7 to 1, with votes in favor from representatives of Latino Network, Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, Portland Audubon, and others.
Ana Gonzalez Muñoz of Latino Network followed up with testimony to the Port Commission in March, explaining why she and other CAC members voted to endorse the Airport Worker Bill of Rights.
“We heard that PDX workers describe that low wages means they are at risk of losing their housing,” Muñoz said, “that they have to deal with illness without getting health care, that they have to skip meals, that they can’t afford the simplest things (such as Christmas or birthday presents) for their family or even take short vacations. We have heard that this poverty disproportionately impacts workers and communities of color, and we have heard that PDX workers have been raising these concerns for more than six years.”
“I urge the Port to continue the momentum and developing a policy that addressees all three parts of the Bill of Rights concept- health insurance, paid time off, and wages of at least $3 above minimum wage,” she said.