A pay raise is on the way for some subcontract workers at the Philadelphia International Airport who picketed Thursday to protest low wages.
Prospect Airport Services Inc. said an increase in the base minimum wage for its Philadelphia workers "in the near future is anticipated."
Non-unionized employees who work as wheelchair attendants, baggage handlers and airplane cleaners for Prospect and PrimeFlight Airline Services, both contractors that provide services for airlines, walked off the job early Thursday morning.
The workers have been pushing for higher pay and better working conditions over the past three years, including other one-day strikes.
The contracted employees say they make as little as $7.25 per hour, and don't receiving health benefits or paid sick leave.
Last year, Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order that went into effect in January and raised the minimum wage for city contractors and subcontractors to $12 an hour. But city officials have said they can't force contractors and subcontractors to pay the new minimum standard until new contracts and subcontracts are signed.
"Prospect is doing everything it can to provide its employees with the best wages and benefits in conjunction with federal, state and local laws and its contract for services at Philadelphia International Airport," the company said in a statement. The business said it was "unaware of any unfair labor practice" involving its workers at the airport.
Prospect didn't provide specifics but said the forthcoming raise would be "pursuant to the mayor's recent executive order."
The Des Plaines, Ill.-based company said eligible employees can enroll in health-insurance plans "through the company in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act."
Paid sick leave "will soon be available to all Prospect employees under the City of Philadelphia's new ordinance," the company said.
Nutter signed the city's paid sick leave bill into law in February.
PrimeFlight, based in Nashville, Tenn., didn't immediately respond to a call for comment.
Thursday's picketing started at about 5:30 a.m. outside of Terminal B/C.
Airport spokeswoman Diane Gerace said operations at the airport weren't disrupted, but she couldn't say whether any airlines or their flights were affected.