CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Workers at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport joined a national movement of protests as employees call on Congress to pass a bill that would improve their working conditions.
The protest took place on Thursday around 3 p.m. across from the airport wedged in during the holiday season. The workers are asking for more paid time off, higher wages, and respect on the job.
Protests like this one were seen in 15 cities across the country on Thursday. The 15 cities participating control 45 percent of all U.S. domestic air travel, according to a release from the Service Employees International Union.
Along with their demands, the protesters are pushing for the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act to pass in Congress. The act aims to improve wages and benefits for airport workers.
"I had to go back to work a month after my baby was born because I couldn't afford to stay home without pay. Many of us have to work overtime or multiple jobs, just to pay the bills," said Morgani Brown a cabin cleaner employed by the airline contractor, JetStream.
Brown and other employees said these conditions are causing high turnover rates and creating staffing shortages.
“We’re short-staffed because the pay and benefits are not enough for what we do,” said Shonda Barber, a JetStream trash truck driver. “I work 60 hours a week and am just barely surviving.
The Good Jobs for Good Airports Act was introduced to the Senate in June by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). The bill has yet to be voted on in Congress.