MSP airport workers keep up fight for $15, union

Workers demonstrate outside Terminal 1 at MSP Airport. (photo courtesy SEIU Minnesota)

Workers demonstrate outside Terminal 1 at MSP Airport. (photo courtesy SEIU Minnesota)

Backed by supporters from the community, airport workers kept up their public campaign for $15 per hour and a union, rallying Saturday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“We work hard to make sure that the airport runs smoothly — even when it’s freezing cold or during the busy holidays — to make sure that Minnesotans can see their families and do their business,” MSP cart driver Abdi Ali said. “Although we like our jobs, we don’t get the pay that we deserve.”

MSP workers’ organizing efforts, supported by Local 26 of the Service Employees International Union and 15 Now Minnesota, already have led to victories. Earlier this year the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) responded to workers by passing a paid sick policy and raising the airport’s minimum wage to $1 above the state’s.

But workers like Ali said they remain committed to ending poverty wages and improving working conditions at MSP to ensure a safe, secure and stable airport for both passengers and workers.

“Each day new workers quit their jobs at the airport because they found a better job,” Ali said. “That means each new person gets a badge. If we want to be serious about security, we need to have jobs that keep the best workers at the job, and doesn’t have a constant turnover of employees and security badges.”

Hundreds of workers and community supporters who share Ali’s concerns signed a petition presented to MAC Commissioner Erica Prosser during the rally Saturday. Prosser pledged to make sure they were delivered to the MAC chair.

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