BOSTON- Senator Sal DiDomenico and his House colleague, Representative Adrian Madaro, will be introducing a bill this week in the Massachusetts Legislature to create a wage floor of $15 an hour for baggage handlers, airplane cleaners, wheelchair assistants and other employees at Logan International Airport. The largest transportation center in New England, Logan is also one of the leading low-wage worksites in the region.
“Millions of dollars are being made on the backs of Logan Airport workers, and many of these employees live in my district,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “They often work day and night, sometimes under extreme conditions and in sensitive areas, for little pay and without access to affordable health benefits. These hard working men and women are simply looking for a fair and livable wage to support themselves and their families. It’s time for us to stand with them and give them the support they deserve.”
Due to the efforts of the Fight for $15 movement, there has been a growing push nationwide for higher wages for the lowest paid workers. Once considered a long shot, $15 an hour has become a reality in cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and it is now the minimum pay at leading companies in the United States.
Although Logan Airport brings more than $7 billion in economic activity to the area, many of the aviation service workers there do not reap the benefits. To cut costs, airlines have outsourced passenger service jobs to low-bid contractors, a system that leaves over 1,500 employees making as little as $10 an hour, without access to affordable health care. While this increase would be life-changing for airport workers, it would cost airlines just cents of every dollar they earn at Logan.
MassPort has established a minimum wage for aviation service workers of $11 an hour in January 2016. This legislation builds upon that practice by raising wages to $13.50 in 2017 and $15 by 2018 for these Logan employees.