Florida Reps. Demings and Soto Push Legislation That Would Improve Pay for Airport Workers

Florida - Airports - Workers

Image capture via 32BJ SEIU Florida.

By Mivette Vega

September 2, 2022

Around 90% of airline-contracted workers at Florida’s largest airports report having zero paid sick days and other benefits.

Florida Democratic Reps. Val Demings and Darren Soto co-sponsored the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act, which requires that airport service workers are paid the prevailing wage and provided benefits.

According to a survey conducted by an international service workers union, around 90% of airline-contracted workers at Florida’s largest airports report having zero paid sick days.

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The act was introduced earlier in the summer by Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey and in the House by Illinois Democratic Rep. Chuy Garcia, with Soto and Demings as co-sponsors.

Some of the things the legislation seeks are to require airports that receive federal funds to set a minimum wage and benefits standard for contracted airport employees. The act would also serve the best interests of the people of the US by stabilizing the workplace conditions of the labor pool that supports the nation’s airports. 

“Airport services are most effective when the workforce providing those services is able to earn a living wage and able to secure adequate health benefits coverage,” the bill said.

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Rep. Demings met with several workers of Tampa International in July, including Anthony Sanders, who has worked for the past four years as a subcontractor in the airport as a wheelchair attendant and baggage handler, making $10 an hour.

“The pay is not enough to live on. The benefits are not enough to survive. If they don’t come to work, they don’t get paid. Now imagine that — but every day the traveling public is depending on them to be in place to serve,” Deming said after meeting the workers.



  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.



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