Philly airport workers call for immediate pay raises that voters approved

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Workers protest outside Mayor's office

An executive order from the mayor and a charter change approved by voters last month are still not enough to get workers at Philadelphia International Airport a raise. 

Workers chanted outside Mayor Michael Nutter’s office calling on him to enforce immediately the living wage change that city voters approved May 20th.

But the higher pay, $10.88 an hour, will apply to new contracts, not existing ones. The mayor’s chief of staff Everitt Gillison says it might take a while to hammer out new contracts.

“It is not practical to actually change in mid-stream right now,” Gillison said. “Contracts have to be amended contracts have to be entered. While I understand the frustration probably that goes along with that things have to be done in an orderly fashion or things just get out of hand.”

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Gillison says there is nothing holding back the employeers from giving their workers a pay raise, but they don’t have to.

Meanwhile Councilman Wilson Goode has introduced a bill that would demand the higher wage for all subcontractors, not just “first tier” ones.

Many people working for sub-contractors at the airport earn just more than minimum wage, such as $7.50.  The “living wage” law approved by voters calls for $10.88 immediately and $12 per hour starting with contracts signed after January 2015.

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