The Minnesota AFL-CIO unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday supporting a $15 minimum wage for workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Of the approximately 10,000 people employed in jobs at the airport, more than 2,500 make substantially less than $15 an hour. They range from Delta baggage handlers and ticket agents to workers employed by contractors to provide wheelchair and cart service to disabled passengers.
Many of these jobs used to pay $20 an hour or more with good benefits, but have been downgraded through union-busting, subcontracting and other methods.
On Sept. 15, workers and members of the 15 Now Action Group attended the monthly meeting of the Metropolitan Airports Commission and presented petitions calling on the commission to institute the new minimum wage.
Several hundred delegates to the Minnesota AFL-CIO convention signed a petition in support of the higher wage. They said the commission should act quickly.
“MAC controls the airport,” said Rick Ryan of the State Council of Machinists. “They have the absolute ability to set a $15 minimum wage for the people working in that facility.”
The airport employees “work very hard,” Ryan said. “We believe this push here at the airport will also help push the idea of a higher minimum wage in Minneapolis and St. Paul and continue the great work we started” with the increase in the state minimum wage earlier this year.