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Airport workers put in extra hours during record travel numbers

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TAMPA, Fla. — It’s the busiest travel day of the season and airport workers are placing in extra time to ensure individuals can get house for the vacations.
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There will be a bunch of wheelchairs, feels like I’m working by myself sometimes, and I’m like doubling back, tripling back,” stated Tampa airport contractor Anthony Sanders.

Tampa International Airport (TPA) expects 65-75,000 passengers to move via every day during this vacation season, breaking pre-pandemic travel data. That’s simply 1000’s of the 110 million individuals AAA predicts will travel throughout the U.S.

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RELATED: Tampa International Airport reviews record-breaking passenger numbers amid new COVID-19 surge

In truth, the airport is seeing passenger numbers 8-9% greater than the common of different airports throughout the nation.

But if you go searching, you see a variety of workers like Sanders working during the vacations.

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Airlines took a success during the pandemic and as individuals started touring once more, airports in basic nonetheless haven’t been in a position to totally re-staff.

Sanders is a Tampa resident who’s contracted by an organization exterior of TPA to help aged and handicapped passengers in wheelchairs. He was laid off for 3 months during the pandemic and with the price of dwelling in Tampa, he was dealing with homelessness, dwelling out of motels.

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Now that he’s been again to work, he is working extra time for the vacations — six days every week, eight or more hours a day and his pay is $6.98 an hour, so he depends on ideas.

The minimal wage in Florida is $10 an hour, so just like a restaurant worker, ideas get him to the authorized minimal wage.

“When I got rehired I mean, it was still like, you know, it wasn’t as busy as it is now. It was still like I wouldn’t you know, ‘cause I rely on my tip money and I wasn’t really — I was probably making maybe $30 a day in tips, and then, you know, we have to report our tips,” Sanders defined. “We weren’t making any money. I slept in hotels. It was very hard, very hard.”

Sanders shall be working Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years, and his birthday on January 2.

We’re very short, we’re very understaffed, and we, you know, we do our best. I do my best. Every time I’m here, I do my best to assist people, I go beyond and above for the people here and they do, they do you know, they do appreciate you back,” Sanders stated.

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He can be a part of SEIU 32BJ, a union advocating for airport workers to get greater wages and safer working circumstances.

If you’re one of many thousands and thousands of individuals flying this vacation season, keep in mind two issues: get there early and workers like Sanders, who depend on ideas.

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