Despite Nutter order and Philly charter change, still no raise for some airport workers


Workers at Philadelphia International Airport who are employed by subcontractors thought an executive order and a City Charter change would be enough to deliver them a “living wage.”

However, some continue to earn only what they call  “poverty wages.”



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Seth Lanham, who cleans aircraft for a contractor at the Philadelphia airport, said his pay doesn’t stretch far enough.

“We get $7.50 an hour, and I have to pay rent every week and that’s kind of hard,” he said. “I have a newborn son, and that makes life kind of difficult right there.”

The workers thought the executive order from Mayor Michael Nutter and the charter change would give them a raise to more than $10 an hour, but Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said their employers aren’t ready to pay the extra money.

“From my understanding, these two particular companies — Prime Flight and Prospect — don’t think these apply to them,” Johnson said. “So we are going to go in talk to their management and get answers.”

A manager at Prospect who refused to be interviewed told his workers their contract is open-ended and does not need to be renewed. The executive order and charter change apply to new, not existing contracts.

Meanwhile, Prime Flight told its workers the company is reviewing the matter.

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