Houston Airport Workers to Call for $15/hr wage, Union Rights

Press Advisory: Tuesday, September 10 2019
Media Contact: Nora Olabi | 713-742-2239 | nolabi@seiutx.org

Just days ahead of the Democratic Presidential Debate
New Report: United Airlines Cuts Corners on Wages, Worker Safety, Staffing to the Extreme at IAH

HOUSTON—In front of City Hall, airport workers will call on the city to support Unions for All and adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage at Houston’s airports as they release a new report that reveals that United Airlines is singling out George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) with exceptionally low wages and inadequate worker safety standards. Many airport workers at IAH are paid less than half of what people are paid to do the exact same jobs—even moving the exact same bags and assisting the same passengers—at many of United Airlines’ other hubs. In recent years, United Airlines has taken $216 million in subsidies from Houston taxpayers to help run IAH, its second busiest hub. But the report by SEIU Texas exposes that taxpayers are not getting a fair return on their investment. In a survey conducted by SEIU Texas, airport workers reported that they often have to work with broken equipment and that there is a lack of safety training. Nearly half of contracted airport workers are paid the bare minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The report recommends raising wages, respecting workers’ right to form a union, and requiring airlines that take taxpayer dollars to provide good union jobs to everyone—white, Black, and brown—who makes our airport run safely and smoothly. Implementing these changes will improve the lives of 10,000 families in Houston. The full report will be available at the press conference.

WHAT: Contracted airport workers are releasing a new report at a press conference outside of the Houston City Council meeting before heading inside where several airport workers will speak directly to City Council to call for $15 an hour and unions for all.

WHO: Contracted airport workers like wheelchair attendants, baggage handlers, and cabin cleaners, Reverend Joel Goza from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, SEIU TX, and UNITE HERE Local 23.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 10 at 1:30pm

WHERE: Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby St. Houston, Tx 77002


About SEIU Texas SEIU Texas unites more than 6,000 healthcare workers and janitors in Corpus Christi, El Paso and Houston who have secured better wages, benefits and working conditions through their union. Contracted municipal security officers joined together in SEIU Texas and won the first security officer union in Texas in June 2019. Most recently, subcontracted airport workers are speaking out for at least $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter