The New York Assembly has passed the Healthy Terminals Act to ensure airport workers are paid fair wages and have access to benefits including health care, a bill supported by employees and union leaders at LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International (JFK) airports.
“New York’s airports are some of the most heavily trafficked in the world, putting our airport employees on the frontlines of this global health crisis,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie after the vote. “Now more than ever, these essential workers deserve the protections needed to ensure that they are compensated fairly and have access to health care.”
The act would require that as many as 25,000 workers at LGA and JFK receive the prevailing wage consistent with Article 9 of the state Labor Law, as well as benefits, including health care, based on their job classification and region.
“Airport workers have risked their lives by showing up to work during COVID-19 because they could not afford to stay home,” said Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman, a key supporter of the bill. “Thousands of essential airport workers lack the health insurance they need to keep themselves and passengers safe during this health crisis. This legislation will ensure employees have the health insurance they need and deserve to properly take care of their health.”
The Healthy Terminals Act is dedicated to the memory of Leland Jordan, a baggage handler at JFK who fought for years for better working conditions, wages and health care and who tragically passed away in April due to COVID-19.
It still needs to be signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, but that is expected soon, labor leaders indicated.