On May 23, 2023, the Port of Seattle Commission issued a proclamation in support of quality jobs for all SeaTac workers—including meaningful access to healthcare.
SEIU6 members have been speaking out on the lack of quality, affordable healthcare, and how it impacts their families, their jobs, and their financial stability. This largely BIPOC and immigrant workforce maintains daily operations at one of the country’s leading airports, yet many cannot afford to see a doctor.
“Just a few months ago I had a healthcare emergency. I got dizzy and fell. I had to call 911 and was taken to the emergency room. Because I did not have health insurance, they did not provide me with the care I needed. I had to go back home and make herbal medicine for myself. Workers should not have to choose between their health and providing for their families.” –Bruce Batuli, SeaTac passenger service worker
“The majority of workers at the airport are immigrants and our priority is to provide for our families and create a stable environment to build a life here. However, that’s not possible when the threat of falling sick with no insurance is looming over our heads. The cost of going to the hospital without health insurance would cause our families to move backward.” –Nancy Kibocha, SeaTac passenger service worker and SEIU6 executive board member.
According to a recent SEIU6 healthcare survey, 67% of passenger service workers have skipped going to the doctor for fear of costs. 27% have more than $1,000 in medical debt.
“We are encouraged by the port commissioners’ public show of support for healthcare and are happy to count them as allies in striving for equity for all SeaTac airport workers. Our union will continue to push for swift action to turn these positive sentiments into policy that can make real change in people’s lives.” –SEIU6 President Zenia Javalera