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Workers plan rally at Sky Harbor Airport, call for better working conditions

Airport service workers announced that they'll be joining workers across the country to demand that Congress pass the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act.

PHOENIX — National cries for better working conditions are starting to sound from right here in Phoenix at Sky Harbor Airport.

Airport service workers with the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, alongside the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will rally on Thursday to demand that Congress pass the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act.

Proponents of the bill, which was introduced in June, said that it's aimed at ensuring that workers have a living wage, benefits, and healthcare.

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One of the speakers at the rally will be Prisilla Vega who has worked at Sky Harbor for nearly two years as a cabin cleaner. “We have voices, and they have to be heard," Vega said. "If we stay quiet, nothing will never resolve.” 

She fell on hard times, undergoing emergency surgery to remove her gallbladder. “It popped," Vega says. The surgery left her bedridden and on medication. She says her employers tried to retaliate, “They were like trying to fire me for not being able to go back to work the next day.” Vega claimed they also denied her paid sick time to recuperate, “It made me struggle with paying rent paying bills." 

Angel Ortiz, a passenger services agent at Sky Harbor Airport, said that the bill is essential for ensuring that airport jobs can sustain families.

"For nearly three years, service workers like me have sacrificed our health to keep airports safe and running during a deadly pandemic, yet we’re making poverty wages," Angel said.

"Corporations are guzzling record profits, but the workers that keep our airports open and accessible aren’t paid living wages — and forget about benefits or health care. It’s time for Congress to pass the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act to make sure airport jobs are good jobs that allow us to put food on the table, pay the bills and build a brighter future for our families."

This rally is part of events happening at 15 major airports across the country. The rally will be held on the second floor of Sky Harbor Terminal 4 on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m.

Officials with Sky Harbor say it should not impact traveler's flights.


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