JFK, LGA, EWR airport workers to get wage hikes

Airport workers in the New York area will be getting raises. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Thursday approved raising, in phases, the minimum wage for airport workers from $10.45 per hour to $19 per hour by 2023.

"Like an early Christmas present for me—Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year," said Andrea Bundy, who works at JFK Airport and is a member of 32BJ SEIU.

For the past five years, Andrea and all airport workers at JFK and LaGuardia airports have been making $13 an hour, the state minimum wage. Workers at Newark International Airport in New Jersey make $10.45 an hour. But that is about to change.

32BJ SEIU went live on Facebook earlier Thursday to show the Port Authority voting to raise wages to $19 an hour for 40,000 airport workers.

"I've been in this fight for five years," Andrea said. "They've been putting us off and off and it finally happened."

"The Port Authority had promised to raise wages for years but were stuck because on the New Jersey side, Chris Christie refused to raise the wage," 32BJ SEIU VP Rob Hill said. "Now we have Governor Cuomo, who has supported this effort for years, and Governor Murphy finally came together and the Port Authority acted to raise wages on both sides of the river."

This new mandate would cover all airport service workers, both union and nonunion members.

"Finally, they're on a path to making a wage that they can actually support a family," Hill said.

For example, Andrea said she can now put more money towards supporting activities for her daughter, who does track and field.