Blasts industry-backed effort to block his “Good Jobs for Good Airports Act” to protect airport service workers?
Washington (February 8, 2024) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and longtime champion for consumer and worker protections, released the following statement today after the Commerce Committee voted to advance the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act. The bill includes Senator Markey’s provisions to ban fees for families traveling together, guarantee refunds for flight cancellations and delays, and invest in airport climate resilience. Although the bill also includes a study on the wages and benefits of airport service workers, Senator Markey continued to urge the Committee to enact his Good Jobs for Good Airports Act legislation, which would have guaranteed stronger wages and benefits for the lowest-paid airport workers:
“Today’s vote helped to advance critical consumer protections and to protect our airports from the serious threat of climate change. I am proud that the FAA reauthorization bill bans family seating fees, establishes a $1.5 billion airport resiliency program, and advances other important consumer protections. These provisions are critical to modernizing our aviation system and ensuring it can provide high-quality, affordable service to passengers.
“High-quality service, however, isn’t possible without fair wages for the aviation workforce. When we fly, we depend on airport service workers at every step of our journey. Without them, our luggage gets lost, our stomachs go empty, and individuals with disabilities are left to navigate crowded terminals without accommodation. Unsurprisingly, research shows that when these workers are well-paid, turnover plummets, airports run more smoothly, and everyone is safer. These workers are underpaid and overworked, and today the Committee had a chance to deliver for them by adopting my Good Jobs for Good Airports Act. Instead, due to industry opposition, it came up short.
“While the FAA Reauthorization bill includes a study on airport service workers, a study will not put food on their tables. I have a commitment from Chair Cantwell to continue the fight to make sure airport service workers receive tangible protections. Moving forward, I will make sure every member of the Senate and House of Representatives gets this message: We are not backing down. The outcome of today’s FAA vote is a setback, but it is not a defeat. I will continue to fight with our union partners for these workers and the passage of my Good Jobs for Good Airports legislation in the 118th Congress.”
Senator Markey’s provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act include: