32BJ Airports

Airport Workers deserve respect


Fighting Since 2011

In a struggle for dignity and economic justice at the New York and New Jersey airports, in 2011 airport workers began organizing with 32BJ SEIU. Together, we created a two part plan to raise standards within subcontracted airport work: winning respect from employers through a strong union contract and fighting for economic benefits through a political action.

This strategy unites the power of all airport workers so employers can no longer compete against each other in a race to the bottom for the lowest wages and benefits. By sticking together, we have already won union representation for more than half the airport workers in the region. At the same time, with our growing numbers, we got the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to set fair wages that would truly sustain airport workers’ families. That’s how we won $10.19, $15 and now a $19 minimum wage by 2023 at all airports in the region!

We have learned that standing together in our union, 32BJ SEIU, is our best vehicle to fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions. Just as airport workers organized together in 32BJ SEIU, we will continue to use our power to improve conditions at the airports by enforcing this contract, continuing to negotiate new ones and fighting for additional benefits through state and local politics.

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Fight for $15 Victory!

Airport workers and other low-wage workers celebrate minimum wage increase to $15/an hour.

Dec 31, 2018

Economic Justice Win:

After airport workers attend monthly board meetings for nearly a year, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Board of Commissioners approved $19/an hour minimum wage by 2023.

Sept 2018

Minimum Wage Increase:

Airport workers and other low-wage workers celebrate minimum wage increase to $13.

Dec 31, 2017

Lobbying for Economic Justice:

Airport Workers attend the Port Authority board meeting & urged board to make good on promise of better wages and benefits.

Nov 16, 2017

Election Victory!

32BJ members and airport workers work hard to get out the vote for a governor who will support working people in NJ and Phil Murphy is elected!

Nov 7, 2017

A Union & A Voice on the Job:

Hundreds of workers go on strike at JFK, LGA & EWR. Strike ends when America Airlines and others intervened and contractors agree to talk airport workers and their union, 32BJ SEIU.

July 11, 2017

Fight for Minimum Wage Increase:

Under the new law that 32BJ, airport workers, and others helped to get passed earlier in the year, minimum wage goes up to $11/an hour.

Dec 31, 2016

Contract Victory!

Eight thousand NY/NJ airport workers win their first-ever contract. Contracted airport workers gain a voice on the job, seniority, schedule and workload protections, and job security when contractors change.

Dec 2016

Winning $15!

After intense campaigning with fast-food workers, 32BJ, and others, airport workers take their fight to Albany, where the state government passes legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2019.

April 4, 2016

Winning Union!

Nine hundred security officers and baggage handlers at NYC airports prepare to strike  for union recognition—but, at the last minute, the contractor recognizes 32BJ as the workers’ union and workers agree to call off the strike.

July 21, 2015


After airport workers testify to the poverty they were experiencing at the airport, The Port Authority forces contractors to raise airport workers' wages at JFK, LGA and EWR to $10.10/an hour.

Feb 1, 2015

The First Strike:

At JFK, nearly 200 airline cabin cleaners strike over safety issues, right after the deadly Ebola virus was found in the airport. The action pushes multiple subcontractors to recognize 32BJ as the workers’ union.

Oct 9, 2014

Wage Theft Victory:

Skycaps organize to fight back against wage theft. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman awarded skycaps $975,000 after they were underpaid at just $5.65 an hour

Sept 24, 2014

First Wage Victory!

After the worker’s actions, The Port Authority of NY and NJ agrees to give airport workers a raise of $1 for those earning $9 per hour or less.

July 21, 2014

A Union Vote:

The Airport Workers’ Organizing Committee gathers workers from JFK, LGA & EWR together at Riverside Church in Manhattan where they unanimously vote for 32BJ SEIU to be their union representative.

May 14, 2014

The Long March:

Airport Workers and City Leaders March 10 miles from JFK Airport to LaGuardia in honor of Dr. King’s fight to support working people right before his assassination.

April, 2014

Frist MLK Day Protest:

Workers, elected officials, and clergy come out, demanding respect for the airport employees making poverty wages. In the spirit of Dr. King, some even engage in civil disobedience and get arrested. In response to the protests, the Port Authority of NY and NJ grants airport workers their first paid holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Jan 20, 2014

Start of the Campaign:

With wages as low $7.25 per hour or less and no respect on the job, JFK, LGA and EWR workers start their campaign to form a union and secure good pay and respect.

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