Airline passengers in New York City were confronted by a massive group of union protesters this week. Organized by a chapter of the Service Employees International Union, several hundred individuals joined in the rally, seeking higher wages for airport workers.
Following in the footsteps of fast food workers and other low-skill employees before them, these union activists are simply demanding more money without indicating why they deserve it. Meanwhile, as airline travel gears up for the holiday season, such protests only add to the already hectic airport environment.
Naturally, the disgruntled employees have received plenty of support from union bosses and leftist politicians.
Hector Figueroa, president of the 32BJ SEIU chapter, said that employees “should not have to live without health care because they happen to be working at our airports.”
New York City Comptroller-Elect Scott Stringer also joined in the protest, saying he is “proud to stand with the men and women of 32BJ in calling for uniform standards for the fair wages, benefits, and improved working conditions they need and deserve.”
He suggested that airlines should indiscriminately give its employees raises instead of reinvesting profits into the business. Such is the mantra among today’s leftists; businesses, they contend, exist only to provide exorbitant salaries to employees, whether they earn it or not.
Protesters complained that the practice of contracting with outside companies to provide labor has resulted in lower wages throughout the industry. Many concluded that airline travel is less safe and efficient as a result.
Unfortunately for them, recent reports show that customer satisfaction has risen consistently over the past four years across a wide spectrum of variables.
While support for higher wages is certainly a popular position to take in theory, the free market determines how much a particular position is worth to an employer. Forcing unearned and unsustainable raises on already strapped industries will only result in lower profits, which in turn translates to fewer employees and more responsibilities for those who remain.
For this reason, air travel poses a greater security risk with fewer high-paid workers than a fully staffed roster. There is little chance, however, of ever silencing the shrill voices of ideologues and union bosses with such logic.
–B. Christopher Agee
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