32BJ SEIU

Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

On this Monday, April 6, episode of Sundial:

Navigating South Florida’s unemployment crisis

The number of Floridians applying for unemployment benefits continues to rise as thousands of people are being laid off in masses due to this coronavirus. 

Fort Lauderdale Airport
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport / WLRN

This post has been updated with new information as of 8:35 p.m. Tuesday.

Broward County Commissioners are now involved in ongoing investigations into the airport contractor Eulen America.

The company took over a contract with Delta Air Lines at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last week. But, commissioners are scrutinizing whether it failed to comply with a county law requiring that workers not be laid off during a change of contract. 

32BJ SEIU
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to advance a proposal that would increase the amount employers are required to pay towards health insurance for county contracted and subcontracted workers, like airport and port workers.

The ordinance would require employers to contribute $3.44 per hour to an employee's health insurance starting in 2021. The current rate is $1.63 per hour.

The proposal now has a public hearing scheduled for Feb. 26. at 10 a.m. 

Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness
Courtesy of Ana Tinsly / WLRN

Workers held a rally Tuesday afternoon in Downtown Fort Lauderdale to petition the Broward County Commission to raise the living wage.

A new report by The Fort Lauderdale Airport Coalition shows that nearly half of contracted and subcontracted workers, like wheelchair attendants at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, are living near or under the poverty line.

Fort Lauderdale Airport
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport / WLRN

Workers from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Orlando International Airport met ahead of Monday night’s Democratic gubernatorial debate to share their struggles with low wages and talk about strategies to increase it.

The groups held a private meeting before the debate, which was facilitated by the workers' union 32BJ SEIU, and then attended together the so-called Florida Freedom Forum with Democratic candidates to push for a living wage increase.