Orlando airport employees will continue to wait for higher pay

GOAA recommends waiting on $15/hour wages for employees, contractors

ORLANDO, Fla. – The battle for higher pay for Orlando International Airport workers continues.

On Wednesday, the Greater Orlando Airport Authority decided to wait to increase wages to $15/hour for all airport employees.

More than two dozen contracted airport employees were up at Monday's GOAA meeting hoping the board would hear their concerns.

“I make $12.21 an hour, but for me, it’s not enough because it’s $12.21 an hour without benefits,” Carlos Batista said.

Batista helps direct passengers at Orlando International Airport. He said he’s barely able to make ends meet and like many contracted employees has been fighting for higher wages for years.

“I feel like the airport [employees] should be up to $15 an hour for the union so we can get some benefits with paid vacation and paid leave,” he said.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority ultimately recommended deferring action for both GOAA employees and contract workers who make less than $15 per hour.

GOAA officials said voters in Florida will vote on the issue anyway in November.

The board also cited a court decision out of South Florida concerning the airport authority’s ability to pay contracted workers a set wage.

“The issue would be to revisit regarding the third party contractors after the November ballot, and the issue with regarding the aviation authority employees and direct contractors will be revisited in March,” GOAA president Phil Brown said.

The GOAA Board meets again to address this topic in March.

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