Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman today announced the Assembly has passed the Healthy Terminals Act to ensure that airport workers are paid fair wages and have access to benefits including health care.
New Yorks airports are some of the most heavily trafficked in the world, putting our airport employees on the frontlines of this global health crisis, said Speaker Heastie. Now more than ever, these essential workers deserve the protections needed to ensure that they are compensated fairly and have access to health care.
We have been fighting for airport workers to receive health insurance since the beginning of the year, said Assemblymember Hyndman. During the COVID-19 pandemic however, it became clear to all that this has become a matter of literal life or death. Airport workers have risked their lives by showing up to work during COVID-19 because they could not afford to stay home. Thousands of essential airport workers lack the health insurance they need to keep themselves and passengers safe during this health crisis. This legislation will ensure employees have the health insurance they need and deserve to properly take care of their health.
In light of our current health crisis, the necessity for this type of legislation has never been more important. After working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these workers cannot get health insurance through their jobs or have been left with no coverage at all during this unprecedented time.
Todays legislation will help reduce turnover and enhance health and safety among the workers at John F. Kennedy International Airport, La Guardia International Airport, and New York Stewart Airport by requiring that such covered airport workers receive the prevailing wage consistent with Article 9 of the Labor Law. This requirement will provide for a stronger, more developed and trained workforce that will help protect and secure these critical locations. These workers will receive wages and fringe benefits, including health care, based on their job classification and region (A.8142, Hyndman).
The Healthy Terminals Act is dedicated to the memory of Leland Jordan, a baggage handler at John F. Kennedy International Airport, who fought for eight years for better working conditions, wages and health care for these workers. Leland tragically passed away on April 13, 2020 due to COVID-19, making the fight for affordable health care for frontline airport workers all the more urgent.