PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland International Airport employees are participating in a demonstration on Thursday, Dec. 8, to demand better working conditions for airport staff across the U.S.

Service workers from more than 15 airports throughout the country will also take part in the day of action. They are calling on members of Congress to pass the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act, which would guarantee that airport service workers receive living wages, benefits and health care.

The Service Employees International Union is helping lead the upcoming demonstration.

“For nearly three years, [airport service workers have] sacrificed their health as essential workers, only to be treated as anything but,” SEIU president Mary Kay Henry said in a release. “Now, airport workers are seizing their power alongside working people across the economy — from Starbucks to Amazon, fast food to home care and beyond — to demand more from their employers and elected officials.”

According to the release, Thursday’s event will impact airports that control 45% of domestic air travel and 65% of U.S. travel through major hubs.

PDX predicted that more than 49,000 travelers would be making their way through the airport on Sunday, Nov. 27: the forecasted peak travel day. That was the weekend following Thanksgiving, but the airport could see another high volume of visitors around Christmas time — which is quickly approaching.

“What we saw during the pandemic was an extreme decrease in travel where many workers were laid off, hours were cut, etc,” Felisa Hagins, SEIU Local 49‘s political director, told KOIN 6. “We’ve seen travel coming back full force, and what we haven’t seen is sort of the commensurate wages and benefit increases, job protections, COVID protections or any type of pandemic protections for the workers who clean planes or who do your baggage.”

During the event, community allies like Hagins and airport service workers like Depora Walter will have the opportunity to speak on the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act and how it could improve working conditions for airport staff.

“Passengers flying through PDX assume that airport workers have easy access to vacations through airline benefits,” Walter, who is a cabin cleaner, shared in the release. “In reality, subcontracted workers like myself are fighting to provide for our families and actually spend quality time with them.”

The day of action starts at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. Demonstrators will start by chanting and presenting speeches at PDX’s Uber and Lyft pick-up area before doing a walk through the airport.