Thanks to our community allies, the Portland International Airport Community Advisory Committee recently declared its support for a raise for many PDX airport workers. These employees–janitors, baggage handlers, wheelchair assistants, and others–work hard, but are paid poverty wages.
Poverty jobs at PDX are part of institutional racism. The majority of workers are people of color. Leaders at other airports fixed this problem YEARS ago. At San Francisco International Airport, workers make at least $18.74, pay $9.50 for family health insurance, and earn 12 paid days off per year. The Port of Portland can and must do better.
We’re demanding an Airport Workers Bill of Rights for PDX airport workers, so that the Port leaders ensure workers are paid fairly, with paid time off and health insurance. We think that sounds only fair.
We haven’t won yet, because this is just an advisory committee. The top decision-makers of the Port of Portland have to approve our proposal. But as they put forth calls for “social equity” and talk about #PortInTheCommunity, their actions don’t measure up.
The Port leaders currently propose small raises that won’t benefit the majority of workers at PDX until next near…but we are experiencing crisis NOW, and they haven’t even committed to guaranteeing health insurance or paid days off.
We’re not giving up; we will continue to fight for what’s right until PDX airport workers win the wages and benefits we need to thrive.