Labor Secretary to push for higher wages at Reagan National Airport

Labor Secretary Thomas PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE will join airport workers who are protesting low wages and poor working conditions Friday in the nation’s capital.

Airport workers around the country are protesting what they say are “poverty wages” in spite of record industry profits. In some cities, they are striking.

They’re calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to organize a union.

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The Obama administration has taken notice.

Perez will kick off his airport tour Friday at Reagan National Airport following by conversations with airport workers in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Newark, N.J. He will be joined by Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

On Friday, Perez intends to speak with Reagan National Airport employees about “their struggle to make ends meet while earning poverty wages and the bullying and intimidation they face from their employers as they demand a voice on the job.”

“Airport workers are some of the most forgotten workers in America,” Perez said last week.

Airport Workers United is vying to represent airline employees across the country. These include baggage handlers, customer service agents, security officers, cleaners, ramp workers and wheelchair agents.

The group is concerned not only about low wages, but also poor working conditions that lead to insufficient training and staffing shortages that “put workers in danger.”