By Phil Murphy
The other week, I stood with workers from Newark Liberty International Airport to advocate for equal pay for equal work at a meeting of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The Port Authority controls working conditions and wages at the area’s three major airports — LaGuardia and Kennedy in New York, and Newark in New Jersey.
Unfortunately, Governor Christie and the Port Authority have decided that workers at the airports in New York should get paid more than workers in New Jersey, despite doing the same job and residing in the same, high-cost-of-living housing market.
That pay gap is wrong — and I’m proud to stand with airport workers, 32BJ SEIU, and other organizations in demanding fair and equal pay. Add your name and sign the petition.
A two-tiered wage scale — or, as I should more realistically call it, a double standard — unfairly penalizes workers for simply living on the wrong side of the Hudson River.
It does not value workers based upon the work they do. Rather, it arbitrarily undervalues thousands of hard-working men and women based solely on a political decision from Governor Christie to keep New Jersey’s minimum wage low.
When politics wins out over people, people get hurt. This two-tiered pay system that pays workers in New York 30 percent more than workers in New Jersey is hurting people.
I grew up middle class on a good day. My mom was a secretary and my dad worked any job he could find to help make ends meet. So, I know that when you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, a 30 percent difference in wages makes a huge difference.
The Port Authority’s name is New York AND New Jersey, not OR. And it’s on us to add our voice to remind them that we’re all in this together.
Stand with me and call on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to provide a livable wage for all employees, regardless of which side of the Hudson they work.