Local airport workers won a huge victory yesterday when their two-year campaign for a living wage finally paid off. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority approved a new policy ensuring that airport contractors pay their employees a living wage. The airport workers -- including wheelchair and checkpoint agents, terminal cleaners, cabin cleaners, sky caps and baggage handlers, many of whom now earn as little as minimum wage -- could see hourly wages increase to $12.75. "I never thought I'd live to see the day," said DCA airport worker David Tucker, who's worked at the airport for fifty years. "This raise will be great," said UNITE HERE Local 23 member Divina Stinchcomb, an airline catering employee of LSG Sky Chefs at Reagan National Airport. "For me, and I know for my coworkers, this will change my life." While SEIU 32BJ Vice President Jaime Contreras called the move “a step in the right direction," he said that workers still need $15 an hour and a union "to reach the light at the end of a long tunnel of poverty. These men and women," Contreras added, "continue to face intimidation and retaliation by employers and need the protection that only a union can provide." photo (top): September 2016 DCA march; photo by Chris Garlock. Bottom: May 2016 rally; photo courtesy Unite Here 23
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