After years of fighting, airport workers at Reagan and Dulles get pay raise

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DULLES -- For the last two years, five thousand contracted airport employees at Dulles and Raegan International, have been fighting for a wage increase.

“These men and women are often unseen.  They are the ones who push the wheelchairs, they are the ones who take baggage at the curb, and they are not making a wage that can sustain them or their families,” said Congressman Gerry Connelly.

“Many of these men and women sleep at the airport because they don’t have enough time to go home between shifts, they cannot afford transportation, and sometimes they don’t have enough money to pay rent,” explained Maria Naranjo, Deputy Director of 32BJ SEIU.

“I was a homeless employee.  I was working out at Washington National Airport when I first got put out of my home,” said Charles Wilson.

Wednesday, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board voted 15 to 1 to make a change.

Currently, the contracted workers make $7.25 an hour.  Under the new policy, starting January 1, 2018, their wages will raise to $11.55 an hour.  Then in 2019, they will make $12.15 an hour, and by 2020 the employees will be bringing home $12.75 cents an hour.