Contact: Dwayne Royster - 215-237-4503
Following Tuesday’s Public Hearings, Faith Leaders Will Shine Light on Scrooge-Like Wages Paid to Many Airport Workers
POWER points to Labor Study Documenting Low Pay and Lack of Benefits at Airport
Clergy leaders representing Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER) will gather outside City Council Chambers (4th Floor City Hall) on Tuesday, Dec. 11th, 11:00am, to urge enforcement of the City’s 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard (“Living Wage Ordinance”) at the Philadelphia International Airport. The Press Conference will follow public hearings conducted by the Living Wage and Benefits Review Committee - the body charged with reviewing the implementation of the Living Wage Ordinance - to draw attention to the fact that many Airport sub-contractors skirt the Ordinance’s requirements and pay their workers poverty wages without benefits.
The city-owned Airport is the region’s largest economic engine – supporting more than 140,000 jobs and generating more than $14 billion in annual economic activity. But according Raising the Bar: Ensuring that Airport Expansion Lifts All of Philadelphia – a new study released by Fight for Philly (click http://fightforphilly.org/
In response, POWER has launched its Economic Justice Campaign (click http://www.powerphiladelphia.org/
Such a policy would have concrete affect on real workers’ lives. Juan Lantigua, a security officer for Aviation Safeguards, makes $8.00/hour with no benefits. Juan is a diabetic and sometimes must go to the hospital for his condition. “My family relies on public health insurance and food stamps to survive – even though I work. I was recently in the hospital and have thousands of dollars in bills I can’t pay. We deserve time off, benefits and better pay” says Lantigua. Underpaid Airport workers like Lantigua plan to testify at Tuesday’s hearings about their plight and to urge enforcement of the Living Wage Ordinance.
Following the hearings in City Council Chambers, POWER clergy leaders and allies will conduct a Press Conference to lift up the moral imperative to ensure family-sustaining wages and the importance of living wage jobs for our City’s economy. Rev. Zack Ritvalsky, POWER leader and pastor of Sweet Union Baptist Church in West Philadelphia says, “In this holiday season we urge our City’s elected officials to give the gift of living wage jobs to our city. City Council and the Mayor can begin by passing a comprehensive Good Jobs ordinance for work at all city-supported or –subsidized projects and sites, including at the Airport.”
Tuesday, Dec. 11th Logistics:
● Council Hearings on Living Wage Ordinance Enforcement:
● POWER Press Conference: 11:00-11:15am – 4th floor, in City Council Caucus Room or Hallway.