The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) has announced that a planned MAC board vote on a new minimum wage ordinance at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport will be delayed due to the economic and financial uncertainties arising from COVID-19.
Originally scheduled for April 2020, a MAC board vote on a draft ordinance that would phase in a US$15 minimum wage for many workers at Minneapolis-St Paul by July 1, 2022, will now occur at a later date.
“We are not abandoning efforts to ensure employees at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport are paid competitive wages that attract a quality workforce,” MAC chair Rick King said. “The issue is timing. Right now, airport businesses are struggling due to the rapid decline in air travel demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we fully support the US$15 minimum wage, we need to be careful about increasing costs to businesses at a time when revenues throughout the aviation industry are far below what anyone could have forecasted and might remain so for some time.”
The draft minimum wage ordinance would cover a broad base of businesses at Minneapolis-St Paul whose services are key to airport operations and travelers’ experience.
Iris Altamirano, president of SEIU Local 26, the union of janitors and passenger service workers at the airport, said, “The frontline workers who make this airport run have been fighting for years to win a US$15 minimum wage. We are disappointed in the need to delay this vote, but understand the reality of what Minneapolis-St Paul Airport and our economy are facing. We look forward to continuing to work with the MAC to pass a US$15 minimum wage as soon as humanly possible.”