Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Thursday, January 15, 2015
By Sarah Gonzalez : Reporter, WNYC/NJPR
Thursday, February 23, 2012
(New York, NY -- Alex Goldmark) About a quarter of employees who work in New York area airports — including some who have jobs in security — make wages that are below the poverty line, according to a new study released this week.
Workers at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports who screen luggage, check tickets, clean airport bathrooms and assist customers in wheelchairs earn, on average, $16,640 a year, according to a study released Wednesday by NYU's Women of Color Policy Network and the Wagner School of Public Service. That's 25 percent below the federal poverty line for a family of four.
Area airports employ about 67,000 people. Of those, nearly 17,000 are what's known as passenger service workers — almost all of whom work for companies contracted by airlines. Researchers surveyed 300 of these workers, who are predominantly people of color, and found that the average wage was $8 an hour and the most common wage earned by these workers was the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
Noting that 20 percent of those surveyed report being on government assistance such as food stamps, study author Nicole Mason said, "this means the public is paying twice" for these services: Once in the price of an airline ticket, and then in taxes that go to the social programs these employees frequently rely on.
Lakisha Williams, 29, has been working at Newark Airport for eight years. She started off as a baggage pre-screener and is now a wheelchair attendant. She said she pays for rent with Section 8 vouchers, uses food stamps and is on Medicaid.
"Basically I've just been at the airport for eight years for making the same minimum wage, $7.25," Williams said. "It's very unfair... I mean I have a 12-year-old daughter. She is very expensive, very expensive. I have to sit her down and let her know, tell her mommy is doing her best."
Study authors point out that workers employed by companies contracted by the Port Authority — the agency in charge of the airports — earned more than those who work for companies contracted by airlines. They blame the low wages on a practice by the airlines that awards contracts to the lowest bidder.
The head of the Port Authority, Patrick Foye, said he had not read the report, but has directed his staff to review it to see if there are any actions the agency should take in response. He expressed support for union hiring, touting his own experience as a union member in high school.
Full time workers union workers earn 29 percent higher wages nationally, than non-union workers he pointed out. Sixty-eight percent of Port Authority workers are represented by 13 different unions, he pointed out.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Millions of Americans love their Apple products: from iPods to MacBooks to iPads. But there's a story behind the beloved devices. How do they get made and what price is paid? Our partner The New York Times has been investigating and this morning's story is a riveting read, in particular the safely problems at a Chinese factory that makes iPads.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thanksgiving typically conjures images of spending time with family, savoring long meals, and watching sports. For those working at the Target corporation this year, they will remain only images. The mega-chain store has just asked many of its employees to put on their work clothes at midnight on Thanksgiving night to prepare for Black Friday shopping. However, many are not looking forward to the extra hours.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Brooklyn College economics professor Robert Cherry discusses his new book, Moving Working Families Forward: Third Way Policies That Can Work.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Steven Greenhouse, New York Times labor and workplace correspondent and author of The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, discusses the increasingly bitter national strike against Verizon, which began on August 7.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
By Julia Furlan : WNYC Culture Producer
More than 130 artists have boycotted the Guggenheim's new Abu Dhabi location over migrant workers' rights.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
From Madrid to Brussels to Dublin to Paris, workers all over the European Union are taking to the streets today in a mass day of action. Hundreds of thousands of European workers are protesting a wide range of austerity measures proposed by their own governments—like spending cuts in Britain and increasing the retirement age in France. The BBC's Nick Childs is in the thick of the protests in Brussels. He reports on what may be the beginning of Europe's winter of discontent.