Three workers interrupted Delta CEO Richard Anderson’s speech before a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday in Minneapolis. They questioned why Anderson’s salary increased to over $14 million last year, while workers who assist Delta passengers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport struggle to make ends meet.
“Mr. Anderson, Delta is making record profits, yet wheelchair agents who transport Delta passengers are paid minimum wage,” said Darcy Landau, a military veteran from St. Paul who works as a wheelchair agent at MSP. “We can barely survive. Will airport workers ever share in this growth?”
Video footage, taken by Local 26 of the Service Employees International Union, shows Landau and other workers being escorted out of the banquet room after interrupting Anderson’s speech.
Landau and other workers have been attempting to organize with SEIU Local 26 for the last few years. They do not work directly for Delta, but for subcontractors that handle the airlines’ passenger-service responsibilities at MSP.
Delta reported profits of $2.7 billion in 2013, but those record earnings have yet to trickle down into passenger-service workers’ paychecks. Outside of the luncheon, workers and supporters held a sign reading “Record Profits for Delta, Poverty Wages for Workers.”
Abera Siyoum, an AirServ cart driver at MSP, asked Anderson about a comment made by the CEO in reference to the corporation’s record success in 2013.
“Mr. Anderson, you said in the news that ‘across the board 2013 was an outstanding year,’ yet since I must work 70 hours a week to survive I hardly get to see my children,” said Siyoum, who works two jobs to support his wife and two children. “Do you think my family is as happy about Delta’s profits as you are?”