NEWARK, NJ – The new legislation, signed Thursday by Governor Phil Murphy, will provide employees at Newark Liberty International Airport with access to decent wages and affordable health care.
The Healthy Terminals Act, signed by Murphy, creates new minimum wage and benefit requirements for certain Newark Airport and Newark Liberty International Train Station employees who often cannot afford employer-provided health insurance plans.
“We have long heard the concerns and often desperate appeals from airport workers about access to affordable health care and wages that will enable them to support themselves and their families,” Murphy said. “These men and women have selflessly served as critical infrastructure workers through the COVID-19 pandemic and I am proud to sign this legislation that will finally give them the health care and compensation they need and have fought for.”
The law will affect more than 10,000 Newark Airport employees, including baggage handlers, guards and food service workers.
It is also required that the employees of the insured airport and train station are paid wage rates that are at least equal to the wages set in the applicable Federal Wage Act for employees in building technology. The draft law also provides for additional benefits corresponding to those set out by the Labor Commissioner.
After September 1, 2021 and every year thereafter, the wage rate applicable to an insured worker may not be lower than a minimum wage rate established by a directive of the Port Authority and the amount of the wages or supplements corresponds to the rate indicated by the Commissioner for Labor.
“It’s good for workers, it’s good for passengers, and it’s good for airlines,” said Kevin Brown, vice president and director of New Jersey at SEIU 32BJ Healthier People and a Healthier Airport. Making this a reality in New Jersey is a major milestone in the fight for justice and equality. “
MP Shanique Speight (D-Newark) was one of the main sponsors of the new legislation. Additional sponsors included Sens. Loretta Weinberg, Linda Greenstein, and Steve Sweeney, and Congregation members Annette Quijano, Daniel Benson, and Joseph Egan.