Broward Considers Extending Living-Wage Ordinance To Airport Workers

May 5, 2015

Gueldere Guerillis addresses union members outside Broward County Governmental Center on Tuesday.
Credit Julia Duba

Broward County commissioners are considering a proposal that would extend the county’s living-wage ordinance to airport contract workers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Workers such as baggage handlers, skycaps and wheelchair assistants earn an average of $7.46 per hour, according to a union report.

Gueldere Guerillis has worked at FLL for eight years and currently works two jobs, as a skycap and wheelchair attendant.

“Our paychecks cannot cover everything,” says Guerillis. “Most of us at the airport work two or three jobs to make ends meet.”

The measure would raise airport service workers’ wages to at least $11.68 for workers with health benefits and $13.20 for workers without benefits.

Airport workers hold up findings of a union report comparing wages of Fort Lauderdale-Hallandale International Airport contractors with those of Miami International Airport, who are covered by a minimum wage standard.
Credit Julia Duba

“A healthier employee is a better employee,” says Broward Commissioner Dale Holness. “A happier employee is going to treat our guests better.”

The commission ordered an economic study to be conducted in 60 days. The county’s attorney will work on drafting an amended ordinance. The commission is expected to take up the issue again in August.

Guerillis and other airport workers who attended the commission meeting on Tuesday celebrated the outside Broward County Governmental Center.

“It’s time for us to get what we deserve,” says Guerillis.