Inspired by MLK, 32BJ SEIU Workers, Lawmakers March for Higher Worker Wages at Newark Liberty Airport

NEWARK – On Martin Luther King Day this afternoon, Democratic lawmakers at all levels of government marched with 32BJ SEIU workers in search of higher wages.

32BJ wants their hourly wage raised from $10.20 an hour to $17.98. Last year, the labor union prevailed on the senate and the assembly to back the policy, which passed in both houses along party lines, only to die under the veto pen of Governor Chris Christie.

32BJ SEIU NJ Director Kevin Brown

Now – cognizant of an imminent new governor making the legislative process doable again, the union wants the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to use its power to more instantaneously regulate wages for the workers.

Standing in Terminal C at Newark Liberty after having led the cold weather march from Terminal B, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) dovetailed the issue with MLK Day.

“This is Martin Luther King’s birthday,” said Booker. “We cannot afford to let people forget that Martin Luther King stood for unpopular things. He was willing to go against the grain. His last battles were about economic justice. He went to Memphis to stand with workers. When he was planning the poor people’s campaign, he understood there can be no civil rights, no equal rights, there can be no justice in this country without economic rights.”

“We have to take care of all Americans and make sure they have access to decent and living wages,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19), Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29), Senator Joe Cryan (D-20), Newark Council people Anibal Ramos, Jr. Mildred Crump, Luis Quintana, Elizabeth Councilman Manny Grova, Roselle School Board Member Archange Antonine, and other elected officials and clergy members, including Father Timothy Graff of the Archdiocese of Newark, also joined the march.

“I’m a believer,” airport baggage handler and 32BJ SEIU member Robert Daus told InsiderNJ. “It’s great to be a part of this kind of show of support.”

 

 

 

 

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