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Rally, Hearing Today: $15 Hourly Wage for Logan Airport Workers

Logan Airport workers rally today in support of a bill getting a State House hearing to boost airport workers' pay to $15 an hour. (SEIU)
Logan Airport workers rally today in support of a bill getting a State House hearing to boost airport workers' pay to $15 an hour. (SEIU)
February 9, 2016

BOSTON - A measure to boost Logan Airport workers' wages to $15 an hour comes up for a hearing today at the State House and some of those workers will be on the State House steps to show their support for the measure.

Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) favors a $15 hourly minimum for all workers in Massachusetts, but says in sponsoring the bill, he has to start somewhere.

He says he's focused on airport workers because they're on the front lines, both in terms of security and quality of service at Logan Airport.

"We should be paying people a fair wage, and in regards to the airport workers, they are supporting folks who are traveling around the world; they are working and making a lot of money for the airlines," says DiDomenico. "So, I have no problem standing up for them and fighting for them, because they deserve it."

Opponents of raising the minimum wage argue it could cost jobs and hurt low-wage earners in the long run. DiDomenico doesn't buy that. He says airlines are making record profits, so they and their subcontractors can afford to pay workers a living wage.

On the House side, the measure is sponsored by Rep. Adrian Madaro, whose East Boston district is home to both Logan Airport and lots of low-wage earners who work there.

"This impacts so many folks who are my neighbors, my constituents, my friends," says Madaro. "Decent wages and fair contracts don't only protect workers, but it also ensures the kind of quality service that people who come to Boston deserve."

DiDomenico believes the timing is right for the bill, especially when workers were out in force at Saturday night's GOP Debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, advocating there for the $15-an-hour minimum wage.

"It really is an appropriate time because all eyes are on the primaries, all eyes are on the presidential election," says DiDomenico. "And this issue has become one of those talking points for a lot of folks who really want to show they support workers."

The rally kicks off at 12:30 p.m. today. The the hearing begins at 1 p.m. in Room B-2.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA