Payne, Pascrell, Sires Urge Port Authority to Improve Wages, Benefits for Subcontracted Airport Workers

Newark, N.J. – Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), and Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-08) sent a letter urging the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to improve the depressed wages and benefits of subcontracted aviation service workers at Port Authority airports, particularly the 4,000 employed at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The Congressmen called for a detailed explanation of what steps the Port Authority has taken to finalize the terms and conditions of Port-Airline agreements to improve wage and benefits for airport workers. They also called for an explanation of how the Port Authority addresses noncompliance with vendor agreements.

“As you are well aware, outstanding customer service is important to any business, which is why aviation service workers play a critical role in the passenger experience. Unfortunately, many of these workers and their families struggle to survive on the low wages offered by subcontractors and rely on some form of public assistance to supplement their income,” the Congressmen wrote.

The Congressmen continued: “We are encouraged by the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners’ initial steps taken to address depressed wages and benefits. Specifically, in April 2014, the Port Authority adopted a resolution that would allow the agency to amend new and existing agreements in order to direct airline subcontractors to raise workers’ pay by $1 per hour and to phase-in an hourly wage of $10.10 by February 2015. The resolution also authorized the Port Authority’s executive director to establish a plan for the development of enhanced wages and benefits, including health benefits, for subcontracted passenger services workers. More than a year later, the Port Authority has yet to present the plan. Our concern regarding the Port Authority’s delay in moving forward with this resolution is growing.”

Click here for a PDF of the letter.