Every single testifier at two hour hearing supported clean $15 minimum wage with no carve outs, exemptions or delays
Bloomington — Hundreds of Minnesotans came to the Bloomington Airport Marriott hotel Monday evening to support the proposed plan of increasing the minimum wage at the MSP Airport to $15 per hour. The speakers made clear their support for raising wages and also highlighted their opposition to any carve outs or exemptions like a tip penalty or CBA exemption. Over 50 people from the crowd chose to speak and every single speaker supported a clean $15 minimum wage.
Before the hearing a group of airport workers hosted a press conference where they shared why they took time to be at the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) public hearing tonight in support of $15 minimum wage with no carve outs and no exemptions.
Roosevelt Muhammad, a single father, member of SEIU Local 26 and a cart driver for Prospect at MSP where he has worked for five years, shared what this would mean to airport employees.
“Despite being great at my job where I’ve won multiple customers service awards and working for an airport that wins national awards while bringing in billions in profits for airlines, myself and my co-workers are paid less than $11 per hour. With a more fair slice of the pie, I could expand what is possible for myself and my daughter,” said Muhammad. “We need $15 for all MSP airport workers, and we need it now. No carveouts, no exceptions. No more delays.”
Another worker sharing his thoughts on the proposal was Herbert Lubega, cook at MSP for Midfield and member of UNITE HERE Local 17.
“To make ends meet I have to work two jobs. Because of this reality I am rarely able to see my kids and family,” said Lubega. “One job should be enough. That’s why we need $15 for ALL workers at MSP!”
It is expected that thousands of workers would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $15 at the airport, pumping tens of million into the Twin Cities economy through wage increases. The city of St. Paul passed a phased-in $15 minimum wage last year, following the city of Minneapolis passing a similar ordinance in 2017. The MSP Airport is its own jurisdiction, so the minimum wage laws passed by the cities that border the airport do not cover it. Neither city included a tip penalty or CBA carve out in their ordinance.
Groups represented at the hearing included SEIU Local 26, UNITE HERE Local 17, IAM Delta Workers Unite, Teamsters Local 120, Jewish Community Action, TakeAction Minnesota, Faith in Minnesota, ROC MN, elected officials and more. MSP workers at the hearing do various jobs that make sure the airport runs, including: cart drivers, ramp workers, wheelchair agents, cabin cleaner, servers, bag runners, servers, car check agents, cooks and more.
The hearing came shortly after the MAC introduced a draft ordinance that would follow the lead of Minneapolis and St. Paul and raises the wage floor to $15 to help the airport address the chronic challenge of understaffing at MSP.