Florida Rep. Shalala Joined Envoy Rally to End Poverty Wages
Envoy agents, members of the Communications Workers of America, called on American Airlines CEO Doug Parker to negotiate a fair contract, including wages that reflect the work they do for parent company American Airlines. Workers also launched a holiday food drive, asking passengers to donate to local food banks, which many agents actually rely on to put food on their own tables.
"We ought to treat employees decently, particularly when a company is making money," said Congresswoman Shalala. "They made billions last year, and they got a big tax cut from the president, and that ought to be passed down to workers."
Starting pay at Envoy is $9.48 an hour, and more than half of the agents make less than $11 an hour. Many qualify for food stamps and other forms of public assistance. Employees often work more than 60 hours per week. Meanwhile, American Airlines netted almost $2 billion in profits in 2017.
A recent nationwide survey of 900 Envoy agents showed that 27 percent must rely on public assistance to get by, and many are forced to go to extreme measures to cover basic living expenses, including selling plasma, buying out-of-date food, and borrowing against retirement accounts. An additional 60% of agents rely on family and friends to get by, and only 13% say their wages are enough to support them.