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.”
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.