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NY and NJ Port Authority orders $1 pay hike for airline workers

Dana Gethers | 1/29/2014, 2:29 p.m.
Following President Obama's announcement of his Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for federal workers to $10.10, the Port ...
Airport workers and supporters protest on MLK day Photo courtesy of 32BJ SEIU

Following President Obama's announcement of an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for federal workers to $10.10, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ordered airlines to give their minimum wage employees an immediate raise.

Executive director of the agency, Patrick Foye, announced the requirement for airlines to give those working for $9 an hour or less a $1 increase per hour. This increase will reportedly phase in to a $10.10/hour wage across the board over time.

The increase comes just days after airport workers staged wage protests on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Amsterdam News reported earlier this week that a crowd of nearly 1,000 - comprised of Port Authority employees and their supporters - blocked the Queens bridge leading to LaGuardia Airport during these protests for paid sick leave on MLK Day.

In addition to the pay raise, Foye declared MLK Day a paid holiday for airport workers. The order reportedly applied to Delta, JetBlue, American and United Airlines. The Daily News reports this pay raise will apply to about 8,000 workers at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, but not the 4,000 employees at Newark Airport.

Foye intends to work towards improving wages for everyone working at the airports in the future. The Daily News reports that he has also mandated that the airlines look into increased wages and health benefits for employees of all private contractors working on projects at the airports, and revise terms of existing contracts.

"The Port Authority is prepared to use every tool at its disposal to achieve these goals," said Foye to the Daily News.