Low Pay, Poor Conditions Are Putting Airline Workers Under Stress, Says SEIU President


Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, says main carriers needs to be held accountable for elevating poor pay, which is inflicting undue stress amongst many airline service staff.

Poor working circumstances and insufficient pay are actually main sources of stress amongst airline service staff, asserts Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).


In an interview with Yahoo Finance Live, Henry defined that these points had been coming to a head in the course of the summer time journey season and simply because the airline business struggles to deal with shopper demand introduced on by the relief of pandemic restrictions.


Union Leaders Say Wages are Key to Reducing Worker Stress

The SEIU represents two million staff, together with 35,000 airport service personnel employed throughout a spread of various roles across the nation’s airports. Commenting on the problems at hand, Henry defined, “Service workers in airports report a very acute level of stress that is due to understaffing and because, understandably, the traveling public is mad about delayed flights and cancellations. Those are workers who are earning $8 an hour with no benefits and no guaranteed hours and who served us throughout the entire pandemic.”


“Dallas, Charlotte, and Phoenix [are] where we’ve seen the most worker activity. But service workers in our nation’s airports have been demanding unions for the past 20 years in 24 other airports from JFK and LaGuardia, where workers have made wage gains to $19 an hour through their unions, to O’Hare, to San Francisco, LAX, and Seattle,” Henry added, observing that places with organized unions have fared higher by way of attaining greater pay than these with out illustration. Using an instance, she mentioned that “in places where the airlines have recognized unions and have bargained wages, a wheelchair attendant in Chicago is earning $18 an hour this month in July while the same attendant in Dallas is earning $8 an hour.”


The SEIU has advocated for a set nationwide wage together with standardized advantages by supporting the Good Jobs and Good Airports Act, however as Yahoo notes, pilots and members of cabin crew have additionally been pushing for higher pay and circumstances through their very own separate unions. However, from her perspective, Henry believes that airways ought to shoulder accountability for the problems that are actually dealing with airline service staff.


“The CEOs of the major airlines American, Delta, and United are to blame. They have to make a decision to not play by the old rules but to recognize the new moment that we’re in and to address the worker shortage by investing in living wage jobs where people can join together in unions. The other thing is CEOs could decide tomorrow to raise wages at the bottom to stabilize service at airports, so action is on the desks of the major airline CEOs,” she mentioned.


While Henry did concede that the CEOs of some main airports have taken motion to lift wages – referencing the success of contract staff at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in attaining at $18/hour minimal wage – she said that this hasn’t been the case all through the business, observing that, “…CEOs have wanted to limit their exposure into individual airports. And that’s why the workers’ demands have gone national.”


Feature picture courtesy: Service Employees International Union

Source: www.flyertalk.com