(Trenton) – Today, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee John Currie urged New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to raise the wages of contracted employees at Port-run facilities in New Jersey to at least $10.10, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has done for these workers at JFK and LaGuardia airports in New York.
On Tuesday, the President of the United States issued an executive order raising the minimum wage on new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour, but the governor of the state would be responsible for extending that wage to subcontractors receiving federal funds via an organization like the Port Authority. This group would include some 4,000 airport workers at Newark Airport that are under the management of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“Christie’s disgraced political appointees David Wildstein and Bill Baroni were paid between $150,000 and $291,000 at the Port Authority and his lawyers are billing $650 per hour to defend his scandal-plagued administration. I think he owes a similar consideration to the airport workers in Newark. Certainly, they do not deserve to be shafted just because they work on this side of the Hudson River,” said Chairman Currie. “It is clear that governor Christie, more than anyone, should do the right thing, right now. He should lend a hand to these New Jersey workers that are already struggling in an economy that his misguided policies have made more challenging.”
Newark Liberty International Airport is one of Newark’s largest job generators, with almost 24,000 working at the airport and close to 141,000 jobs deriving from airport activity. Newark is New Jersey’s largest city and home to the State’s largest African American population and 9th largest Latino community. Meanwhile, twenty-six percent of Newark’s population lives under the poverty level. Many contracted Newark airport workers make the state minimum wage of $8.25 an hour, lack health care coverage and have few or no sick days.