Congresswoman Grace Meng is inviting a Flushing resident to be her guest at this year’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.
Abdul Quddus Chaudhry, 65, a security officer at LaGuardia Airport and member of the 32BJ SEIU union, will be joining Meng as she shines light on the fight for improving workers’ rights and protections such as health care.
Chaudhry has worked in his position for a private contractor at LaGuardia Airport for 10 years. Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, he came to New York City in 2010 and became an American citizen in 2014. In Pakistan, he earned a master’s degree in political science as well as a law degree, and ran his own law practice. He presently resides with his wife and three grown children.
Chaudhry was part of 32BJ’s successful effort to win an increased minimum wage of $19 by 2023 for local airport workers. He is a member of the Airport Workers Bargaining Committee, and this past November, he was among 21 people who were honored at the union’s 13th annual Service Worker Awards held in lower Manhattan.
Chaudhry said it’s a privilege to join the Flushing congresswoman at the State of the Union Address, thanking her tremendously for the opportunity and for all of her efforts to improve the lives of workers in Queens, and throughout the country.
“At LaGuardia, I see my colleagues constantly struggling to pay for the high cost of health insurance, and fighting for better workplace conditions,” Chaudhry said. “It is unacceptable that workers are not afforded the protections they deserve. I hope my visit raises awareness of these needs, and ultimately helps improve the situation at the airport, and other places where working men and women experience similar problems.”
Whether it’s improving health care or addressing other critical issues, it is important to always support workers’ rights, according to Meng.
“It is an honor to have Abdul join me for the president’s speech and I thank him for helping me highlight the important needs of our workforce,” Meng said. “Working men and women are the backbone of our country and help America prosper. They and their families deserve access to affordable and quality health care, and I stand in solidarity with New York area airport workers as they struggle to secure these vital benefits. I look forward to continuing to partner with our tireless and hardworking labor unions such as 32BJ.”