JetBlue Workers Still Waiting On Raises

BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE    
Staff Writer

JetBlue contract workers at JFK and LGA airports are waiting on a $1-per-hour raise. Photo by Steven J. Ferrari.

JetBlue contract workers at JFK and LGA airports are waiting on a $1-per-hour raise. Photo by Steven J. Ferrari.

Different day, same paycheck.

According to service workers union 32BJ SEIU, JetBlue Airlines has neglected to give mandated raises to its contracted workers at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports.

In June, the Port Authority announced a rule that contracted workers making $9 per hour or less would receive a $1 per hour raise beginning July 31.

JetBlue contends that wages for contracted workers are the responsibility of its contractors.

“JetBlue pays all of its 16,000 crewmembers at or well above minimum wage and as we committed to the Port Authority, we are urging our business partners to do the same as each contract gets renewed,” a spokesman for the airline said in a statement.

32BJ SEIU president Hector Figueroa, however, said in a statement released last week that he expects more of the relationship between JetBlue and its contractors.

“JetBlue’s failure to issue raises for its contracted workers as ordered by Port Authority executive director Pat Foye is indicative of the utter chaos and disorganization that exists between airlines and their contractors,” Figueroa said.

Chris Valens, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said, “we expect compliance from all airlines and contractors covered by the recently adopted rule and we are continuing to monitor their efforts.”

Samary Actevedo has been working in cleaning for a JetBlue contractor at LaGuardia for about a decade. At a 32BJ SEIU rally in late June, she explained why a pay raise would be important to her.

“Everything’s going high, rent, all that,” Actevedo said. “We work hard for the money. We really, really, really need more.”

Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, jstrawbridge@queenstribune.com or @JNStrawbridge.