Union representing workers at Newark airport ratifies new contract
NEWARK, NJ – A committee representing 32BJ SEIU, the union representing more than 10,000 service workers at Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports, overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract for unionized workers Wednesday afternoon, confirmed 32BJ SEIU. The negotiations lasted more than three months and the agreement avoids a strike.
According to a statement, the contract is expected to give airport workers guidelines for implementing the Healthy Terminals Act, which will provide workers with health insurance with no monthly co-premium. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the Healthy Terminals Act on April 29 and it will come into effect in New Jersey on September 1.
The new union contract will also offer improved health and safety guidelines and increased protections against discrimination in the workplace.
âOur bargaining committee has worked tirelessly to secure this strong new contract, and we are pleased to see that the hard work has paid off,â said Kyle Bragg, President of 32BJ SEIU. âAirport workers play a key role in our post-pandemic recovery. After a year that has been defined by calls for racial justice and the safety of our essential workers, this contract will propel our airports towards a recovery that gives the priority to workers. “
The new three-year contract also gives labor management committees better access to information on regulatory health and safety guidelines from the CDC, Department of Health and OSHA, and allows them to review policies relating to PPE, social distancing, contact tracing and other procedures. , the union said.
In addition, according to 32BJ SEIU, its members are “mostly black and immigrant airport workers,” and the new contract provides protections against discrimination based on natural hair or hairstyles closely associated with racial, ethnic identities. or cultural such as braids, locks and Afros. , the group said.
The bargaining committee was also successful in preserving MLK day as a paid public holiday, which is widely seen as a major victory in the airport workers’ struggle for racial justice.
The contract, which expires February 28, 2024, also includes the extension of recall rights for workers laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This contract not only meets our current needs, but also prepares us for a future where we can avoid many of the devastation we have faced during this pandemic,” said Venice Russell, cabin cleaner at JFK and committee member. negotiation. âFor airport workers, health care justice is about racial justice. As we continue to make airports work, having health care, protections against discrimination and affirmation that essential workers are valued will enable us to move forward, rebuild and uplift our families and communities during this recovery and beyond. “
Airport workers represented by 32BJ SEIU include contract representatives from passenger services, cabin and terminal cleaners, baggage handlers, security guards, wheelchair attendants and skycaps, working for 23 contractors. airlines, according to the union.