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Thu Jun 23, 2022, 02:25 PM

Exhausted US airport workers see hope in minimum wage bill as summer of travel chaos looms

Ana Vazquez has worked for five years at Orlando international airport in Florida as a wheelchair attendant and child escort for unaccompanied minors. She makes $12 an hour, with no paid time off and the only health insurance coverage offered to her is charged out of pocket and unaffordable on her pay.

Vazquez often does the work of two or three workers because of chronic understaffing, which results in travelers waiting long periods for wheelchair service and attendants having to push two wheelchairs at once.

Vazquez lives with her daughter because she cant afford her own apartment, as and rent has increased significantly throughout the area, while her wages have remained the same.

Were receiving our wages like were in 1995, said Vazquez. I have to live with my daughter, sleeping on the corner of her bed, said Vazquez. Im going to set up the walk-in closet like a bedroom.

On 16 June, Senator Ed Markey, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative Chuy Garcia all Democrats introduced the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act, which would raise the minimum wage for US airport workers, including those who work for contractors, to $15 an hour, provide paid time off and at least $4.60 an hour toward health insurance.


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