Long Beach Airport Convention Center workers press for higher wage | Global News
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Long Beach Airport Convention Center workers press for higher wage

/ 10:42 AM December 19, 2013

PHOTO BY ADALHI MONTES

LONG BEACH, California—Local community organizers, unions and workers are demanding an increased minimum wage for food-service workers at the Long Beach Airport and Convention Center.

Danilo Santos, a Filipino worker at the Convention Center Filipino, said, “I need to support the workers of the Convention Center to increase our wages.”

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According to Santos, the Convention Centers’ minimum wage is $8.60, his hourly rate for the past nine years, with no vacation and healthcare benefits. Santos backs Unite Here Local 11’s efforts to help the center’s workers.

Unite Here Local 11 has been supporting living wage actions and measures in Long Beach for the past year.

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“Raising workers’ wages to a more livable wage would help improve the standard of living and generate over $800,000 a year back into the local economy,” said a union statement.

The average cost of gas in Long Beach $3.54 per gallon or $42.48 to fill up an average gas tank. Living costs such as gas is more than a half day’s labor for a minimum wage worker.

Local gov’t employees, community and union organizers, airport and convention center employees in front of Long Beach City Hall. PHOTO BY HIYASMIN QUIJANO

California’s minimum wage is $8 per hour, but some international airports and convention centers have gone ahead and increased wages for their workers.

“More than 140 local governments have instituted a higher minimum wage/living wage policy: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles Convention Center, San Francisco Int’l Airport, San Diego Convention Center and Miami International Airport all extend a higher minimum wage for their workers,” according to information being disseminated by Unite Here Local 11.

“These are good standards that the council could support,” stated Rex Richardson, a past union organizer and now chief of staff of the 9th Council District in the City of Long Beach.

Supporters are hopeful that wages for convention center and airport workers will increase after the city passed Measure N, which will raise local hotel workers’ wages.

The city council is about to make a final vote to approve a Worker Retention policy & Labor Peace Agreement for the Airport & Convention Center.

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TAGS: labor rights, minimum wage, wages
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