Meng to Bring LaGuardia Airport Security Officer from Flushing, Queens to State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C.

Feb 3, 2020
Press Release
Congresswoman invites Abdul Quddus Chaudhry, a member of 32BJ SEIU, as her guest for the speech to stand up for working men and women and their fight for workers’ rights
QUEENS, NY – In an effort to stand with working men and women and their fight for improved protections such as health care, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced today that Abdul Quddus Chaudhry of Flushing, Queens, a security officer at LaGuardia Airport and member of the 32BJ SEIU union, will be her guest for this year’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.  
 
“Bringing Abdul as my guest shines a light on the important role that our labor force plays in communities throughout Queens and across the nation, and it brings attention to their fight for improving workers’ rights, including affordable health benefits and safe working conditions,” said Congresswoman Meng. “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. 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. Whether it’s improving health care or addressing other critical issues, we must always have the backs of working people, and I will continue to do so. I also look forward to continuing to partner with our tireless and hardworking labor unions such as 32BJ.” 
 
“It is a privilege to join Congresswoman Meng at the State of the Union address,” said Abdul Quddus Chaudhry. “I thank her tremendously for this 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. 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.” 
 
Chaudhry, 65, has worked in his position (for a private contractor) at LaGuardia Airport for 10 years. Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, he came to the U.S. (to New York) 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 with whom he has 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. 
 
With 175,000 members in 11 states, including 9,000 airport workers in New York and New Jersey, 32BJ SEIU (Service Employees International Union) is the largest property service workers union in the country. Headquartered in New York City, its members include cleaners, security officers, doormen, porters, maintenance workers and individuals working in other positions.