Baggage handlers, catering workers, cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants and other airport workers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William Hobby Airport (HOU) will be getting a raise after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order to raise wages to $12 an hour by 2021.
The order raises wages for nearly 8,000 airport workers at IAH and HOU.
“I’m proud to have stood with my co-workers to fight for this historic change at our airports, and I’m thankful that Mayor Turner is standing with working people like me,” says Teresa McClatchie, a passenger service worker at IAH. “I’ve worked at IAH for 4 years making just $9 an hour, and every month is a struggle to make ends meet. This raise will help lighten the real stress of juggling bills like rent, food, gas and utilities when the cost of living has skyrocketed in Houston.”
The announcement comes after airport workers spoke out at city hall and rallied in the streets and at the airport for months. In September, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) TX released a report revealing that many airport workers at IAH are paid less than half of what people are paid to do the exact same jobs at many of United Airlines’ other hubs. Nearly half of the airport workers surveyed in Houston report being paid just $7.25 an hour.
The SEIU says that with this latest win, more than 150,000 people have won raises and other benefits at 21 major U.S. airports, from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Earlier this year, airport workers in at Denver International Airport (DEN) won $15 an hour by 2021 and now a new ordinance is being considered that would raise wages for workers at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to $15 an hour by 2022.