Airport workers at major California airports rallied on Thursday demanding the state place them on the COVID-19 vaccine priority list.
About a dozen airport employees gathered at the socially distanced rally at Terminal 1 of San Diego International Airport, where participants held signs directly aimed at Gov. Gavin Newsom to consider their demand. They are part of a movement that was also held at Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.
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“This is not an issue of cutting the line. This is an issue of acknowledging that essential workers are keeping this economy moving forward,” Christian Ramirez of the Service Employees International Union told NBC 7.
Currently, California is in Phase 1A, 1B Tier One of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, which allows health care workers, long-term care residents, individuals the age of 65 or older and workers in the education and childcare sector, emergency services field and those who work with food and agriculture to receive the shot.
Transportation and logistics workers are not eligible for the vaccine until the state reaches its Phase 1A, 1B Tier Two level.
Supporters hope state leaders hear their demands and change their minds to include airport employees among prioritized groups for the vaccine by the end of the month. Ramirez said airport workers feel they have been disregarded even though they work with the public.
“And pushing them to the back of the line is a slap to the face to the men and women who have kept our airports functioning, who have cleaned our office buildings and who have kept us safe as security officers throughout the state of California and here in San Diego,” he said.
In addition to the rally, memorials were also scheduled to honor airport workers who have died during the pandemic.
To learn more about the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout, click here.