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Arizona: Group protests 'low wage' jobs at Phoenix airport
ABC 15

September 26, 2011
View the Original Article

PHOENIX - Dozens of workers protested outside Sky Harbor Airport Monday saying they are being forced to live in poverty.

Custodial workers with GCA say they are working for minimum wage, with no paid sick leave, no paid vacation days and little or no access to health care.

The group gathered outside Terminal 4 to protest "the fact that, as working poverty deepens in Arizona, Sky Harbor Airport's custodial services are leading the race to create low wage, no benefits jobs in the Valley's growing service sector," according to a news release.

Cleveland-based GCA spokesman Neil A. Guliano said in an email that approximately 300 employees work at the airport under a contract with the City of Phoenix.

Guliano said the workers are paid based on experience and responsibilities ranging from $7.35/hour to higher rates. He said employees are also given the opportunity to participate in a health care plan and 401(k) retirement plan with matching funds.

"We respect the right of any organization to lawfully express themselves. We also respect the right of our employees to freely choose if they care to join a labor organization or not. It should be added that no labor organization, including UFCW Local 99, has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board seeking recognition, as is their right to do," Guliano said in the email.

A spokeswoman with Living United for Change in Arizona said the rally was a "step in a movement" toward good jobs and ending poverty in Phoenix.

"Here at GCA Services you have people who are cleaning our airport and are being paid poverty wages," she said. This should not be. So we're here to say that we want good quality jobs in Phoenix."