In Historic Win for Workers, Houston Mayor to Sign $12 an Hour Minimum Wage at Bush, Hobby Airports

SEIU Texas and UNITE HERE Local 23
Press Advisory
: September 13, 2019
Media Contacts:
Nora Olabi, SEIU Texas | 713-742-2239 | nolabi@seiutx.org
Adam Yalowitz, UNITE HERE Local 23 | ayalowitz@unitehere.org

Subcontracted passenger service workers to continue their fight for a union

HOUSTON—After workers called on city leaders for months to end poverty wages at both George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will be signing an executive order to raise the minimum wage for all Houston airport workers to $12 an hour at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 in Council Chambers at Houston City Hall. The new minimum wage is a historic first step toward our goal of a $15 an hour minimum wage for all airport workers.

A press conference will be held after the executive order is signed. Press are invited to attend, but an RSVP is requested because space is limited.

“Today, the city of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner is sending a clear message that poverty doesn’t fly and one job should be enough for Houstonians to afford to care for themselves and their families,” said SEIU Texas President Elsa Caballero. “Houston is one of the largest hub cities in the U.S. for international air travel, and it’s in our best interest to ensure workers who make our city run are able to earn a living wage. This win will help thousands of Houstonians get ahead, but it is only just the start; we will continue to push for stronger raises and a union for all airport workers.”

“We are excited that Mayor Turner met with airport workers and listened to their struggles, and thankful that he took action to raise wages. This is a great step forward for Houston’s airport workers. For many of our members, this will make the difference between whether or not they can pay rent at the end of the month,” said Willy Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 23.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner signs Executive Order 1-64 Living Wage Air Carrier establishing a $12 an hour minimum wage at all city aviation facilities–Bush and Hobby airports and Ellington Field.

The minimum wage will impact all Houston airport workers. Subcontracted passenger service workers like wheelchair attendants, baggage handlers, and cabin cleaners who are fighting to form their union with SEIU Texas along with airport concessions and airline catering workers who already have their union with UNITE HERE Local 23 protested for months and called on city leaders to enact a higher minimum wage.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 11:00am

WHERE: Council Chambers, Houston City Hall

Photos/Video: Media are invited to take photos and video during the signing.

Interviews: A press conference with the Mayor will be held immediately after the executive order is signed. Workers with SEIU Texas and UNITE HERE Local 23 will also be available for interviews.


About SEIU Texas
SEIU Texas represents more than 6,000 health care workers and janitors in Corpus Christi, El Paso and Houston. SEIU Texas has a track record of improving wages, benefits and working conditions for workers in the Lone Star State. SEIU Texas recently helped contract municipal security officers win the first security officer union in Texas in June 2019. SEIU TX launched its latest campaign to organize Houston airport workers. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

About UNITE HERE Local 23
UNITE HERE Local 23 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents over 3,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Houston, including 2,500 airline catering and concessions workers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.