Thousands of airport workers on Monday celebrated joining a union that's been fighting for higher wages and other protections.
At an event attended by former Mayor David Dinkins, a crowd of passenger service workers from all three of the region's airports joined 32BJ.
It's the country's biggest "property service" union.
Officials say the new members are largely employed by private companies hired by the airlines, which don't have to meet the same worker standards as the Port Authority.
"It's not a profound observation to recognize those that work hard and get paid less than others are being unfairly treated," Dinkins said.
"We need to have a level, an even playing field. My employers could wake up tomorrow and decide they don't want us to work for them without fair cause. And we need someone to fight for us," said JFK Airport Terminal Cleaner Shareeka Elliott.
Workers want private companies to play by the same rules the Port Authority recently agreed to, including a $10.10 wage starting in 2015.