Tempe-based US Airways boosted starting ramp workers wages at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport a whopping 20 percent Thursday.
The hometown airline is expected to announce today plans to hire more than 200 new ramp workers as soon as possible.
Ramp workers provide cargo, luggage and food supplies to the aircraft.
The jump in starting pay is an attempt to woo qualified applicants, said Valerie Wunder, US Airways spokeswoman.
“We did this because the Valley job market is very competitive, and in order to attract enough quality workers, we needed to do something to sweeten the deal,” Wunder said.
“It will also help in retention.”
The hourly starting wage for Sky Harbor ramp workers jumps to $9 from $7.50, she said. Any Valley ramp worker making less than $9 gets an immediate raise in pay, she said.
Wunder also said the new jobs are permanent, not seasonal.
The airline plans to schedule several job fairs to recruit ramp workers. The first is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at US Airways’ Tempe headquarters, 111 W. Rio Salado Parkway.