A labor union will now represent hundreds of workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport after years of organizing.
Employees of AirServ, a Delta Air Lines subcontractor, voted in support of the union and to be recognized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 26.
AirServ performs a number of functions for Delta. Employees include baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, cart drivers, wheelchair agents, unaccompanied minor escorts and lavatory and water service fillers. The majority of its workers are East African.
“Winning our union was a big step for us—and for everyone working to raise up people of color and immigrants in Minnesota,” Misrak Anbesse, an airplane cleaner, said in a statement put out by the union. “We’re all working together for a better life for our families.”
The union appears to be pushing for higher wages—citing the Fight for $15 movement—better benefits like sick leave and worker retention policies. It also cited the need to improve Minnesota’s wide racial disparities.
Workers at MSP got a raise last year when the Metropolitan Airports Commission voted to raise the minimum wage at the airport to $10 per hour after pressure from the likes of Gov. Mark Dayton
, labor and advocacy groups.