Essential workers like some custodians, housekeepers, and health care workers were among the first employees nationwide to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Several states have added other workers to the list, like those with chronic health conditions and teachers. Custodians at San Diego International Airport in San Diego, California have yet to receive their vaccinations and are calling on state officials to put them higher on the list, KPBS-RADIO reports.
The custodians, who belong to Service Employees International Union (SEIU), recently protested outside of the airport. They are requesting that California Gov. Gavin Newsom move them up on the essential worker vaccination list.
Genovev Aguilar, a SEIU organizer, told KPBS that the custodians are disinfecting the airport every day and are at risk of contracting COVID-19. “We’re not asking for a lot. We’re just asking to be alive. That’s it,” she said.
San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher told KPBS the county wants to make the COVID-19 vaccines available to the workers, but it may not be possible for a while. “We don’t know what the supply of vaccines will be,” Fletcher said. “Once we have slack in the system, we will open it up to that first tier of essential workers.”
SEIU members also protested at other California airports, including Los Angeles International Airport and Oakland International Airport, demanding access to vaccines.