MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Twin Cities airport workers set up a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony just outside baggage claim on Wednesday — one of America’s busiest travel days of the year.
It is where they could talk about the work they do, and the difficulty of raising a family on $10 an hour.
“When I look back to the problems behind me, and the people I have to help back home in Africa, this is not enough for me,” airport worker Santigie Bangoura said.
Wheelchair agents, airplane cleaners and luggage handlers just got a minimum wage hike from the Metropolitan Airports Commission to $10 an hour. But some of them work more than one job — seven days a week.
“The job I’m doing here is not enough for me, for my family to cover everything, to pay bills, to raise my kids,” airport worker Abera Siyoum said.
Like other airport workers around the country, some Twin Cities workers are fasting for 24 hours to call attention to their “Fight For $15.”
The Metropolitan Airports Commission this year raised the minimum wage of airport workers to $10 an hour, and for the first time required private companies to offer sick days to workers.
A spokesman says thousands of workers at MSP are already guaranteed a level of compensation not required in other areas of the state.