BOSTON (WHDH) - Hundreds marched in the Boston Common this Labor Day weekend, including commercial building cleaners, airport workers and rideshare drivers marching under the banner “We Make Massachusetts Move.”

“Labor Day isn’t just to go away for the weekend,” said At-Large City Councilor Erin Murphy. “It’s to show up here with the workers who keep our city moving.”

Both union 32BJ-SEIU and non-union workers marched together for better benefits and working conditions. 

Each of the transportation worker groups is fighting for their rights. The union contract for janitors expires on Nov. 15, the airport workers are asking Massport to improve working conditions at Logan Airport, and rideshare drivers are pushing for legislation which allows them to form a union.

“Boston is a union city and must stay that way,” Boston City Council President Ed Flynn said. “To live in Boston, you need to make a decent salary, and many workers can’t do it, but a union is a clear path to the middle class,” Flynn said.

A majority of the marchers were on the frontlines during the pandemic as essential workers, but many don’t have healthcare or enough money to combat soaring housing costs.

Roxana Rivera, 32BJ-SEIU

“Workers that work in these buildings, doing service work, still struggle to make ends meet,” said Roxana Rivera of 32BJ-SEIU. “As we are thinking about moving forward from this pandemic, we can’t leave these workers behind”

Some workers are also only part-time, so they are fighting for more hours to get the benefits they need.

“We need to have insurance, we need to have good benefits,” said Luis Medina, who works as a cleaner. “They only do 25 hours a week, that is not enough. So we are trying to fight to get back to the 40 hours to get the benefits.”

Two Boston City Councilors also marched alongside the workers to show their support.

“For a good wage, we should only have to work one job, not two or three jobs, and the benefit’s really make a difference in a person’s life,” Murphy said.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox