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New minimum wage policy for thousands of airport workers

NEW YORK – A new minimum wage policy at LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport will benefit thousands of critical airport workers. Beginning Thursday, July 31, contractor and sub-contractor airport workers making $9.00 an hour or less will see an immediate $1 an hour increase and all workers will receive a raise to $10.10 an hour on February 1, 2015 if they are making less than that. Starting in 2016, the wage level will increase each year by the annual percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index.

"The non-trade labor contract force plays a critical role in the safety and security of our airports, as well as quality customer service, yet, too often, these tens of thousands of workers are underpaid despite their important operational role at the airports,” said Port Authority Executive Director Patrick.  

In January, Governor Cuomo called on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to take steps to improve wages and benefits for thousands of contracted employees of the airlines at JFK and LaGuardia Airports. Later that month Executive Director Pat Foye met with all four major airlines and outlined the immediate steps the Port Authority deemed necessary to provide improvements to wages and benefits to all contract and sub-contract employees making $9 an hour or less.

In April, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners adopted a formal minimum wage policy mandating contractors at Port Authority airports to pay an appropriate minimum wage to their workers, with a dollar increase as soon as practicable this year for those earning $9 an hour or less and a ramp up to $10.10 in 2015. The policy also called for Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday, and called on employers to develop plans for enhanced wages and benefits in the future.​

The Port Authority released a copy of the proposed rule encompassing the policy on June 13 for public comment and the formal rule takes effect today, July 31, 2014. A copy of the new rule is available here. Several airlines already have begun implementing the requested higher wages with their contractors.