WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There's an undeniable poverty crisis at our airports: 42 percent of airport workers live below the poverty line, a new survey of workers at the nation's 30 busiest hubs finds. Most of these security officers, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, janitors, wheelchair attendants and other passenger service workers are parents who support households and families that depend on their income.
In contrast, the U.S. aviation industry is booming. Profits have literally taken off for airlines in recent years as commercial carriers in 2015 generated record profits of $25.6 billion and $169 billion in sales, for a combined net income margin of more than 15 percent. This was the sixth consecutive year these carriers have posted after-tax profits. Despite the unprecedented industry profits, airlines have created a race to the bottom that has hammered airport staff. Four in 10 of these workers admit to going hungry or skipping a meal, according to the survey. This sad reality has become a way of life for far too many contracted personnel and their families across the country. At a time when most Americans celebrate and are grateful for bounty, these employees often go hungry because they don't earn enough to make ends meet.