'Vote is a Blow to Poverty and a Victory for all Low-Wage Workers'
The City of Brotherly Love extends a hand to thousands of workers
PHILADELPHIA-Airport workers and supporters today celebrated news that Philadelphia will become the next city to raise the wage for thousands of low-wage workers. Passed with an overwhelming majority of 75%, ballot referendum #1 will change the charter to ensure that subcontracted workers on City contracts and under City leases--including thousands of airport workers--finally receive the City's minimum wage and benefits standard.
"I am grateful to the people of Philadelphia for voting to raise the minimum wage for airport workers like me. I am barely making it on $7.50 an hour," said Malafe Karamoko, a cabin cleaner at the Philadelphia International Airport. "My co-workers and I need this raise ASAP. We're going to keep up the fight for a union to make sure we get this raise and better working conditions and benefits."
"Thank you, Philadelphia. A raise to $10.88 will allow me to pay my bills, go to school and move forward with my life," saidbaggage handler Rondell Johnson who makes just $7.25 an hour. "This is the start of more change to come. The fight for a better airport and a better Philadelphia goes on."
"After Tuesday's vote, there is no question that Philadelphians are rejecting the 'tale of two cities' narrative that keep thousands of our neighbors in poverty," said Daisy Cruz, 32BJ SEIU Mid-Atlantic Director. "City Council has spoken, the Mayor has spoken and now the voters have spoken. Now it's up to the airlines and the subcontractors to comply with the law and make this raise a reality for thousands of airport workers."
On Thursday, airport workers and allies with gather at City Hall for a press conference celebrating the wage hike victory and calling for prompt enforcement.
WHAT Press Conference Celebrating Ballot Wage Hike
WHO Airport Workers, Elected officials, Daisy Cruz, 32BJ SEIU, POWER
WHEN Thursday, May 22, 9:30am
WHERE City Hall, 4th Floor, outside of Council chambers
VISUALS Signs, banners, celebratory cake