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MSP airport workers rally for higher wages

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Javier Morillo
Service Employees International Union President Javier Morillo said travelers who've become accustomed to paying more for everything from tickets to checking bags need to know many people involved in making the airport function aren't making enough to pull themselves out of poverty.
Mark Zdechlik/MPR News

On this busy holiday travel day, workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport rallied for higher wages.

About 150 people took part in the peaceful demonstration, organized by the Service Employees International Union, where non-unionized minimum-wage workers gathered at the airport to demand higher pay. They say they can't live on the less than $8 per hour they're currently paid.

SEIU president Javier Morillo said travelers who have become accustomed to paying more for everything from tickets to checking bags need to know that many people involved in making the airport function aren't making enough money to pull themselves out of poverty.

"We believe and most Americans believe that if you're working 40 hours per week, if your an honest, good worker -- that you shouldn't be living in poverty," Morillo said.

SEIU is hoping to organize about 600 workers -- most of whom clean planes and transport seniors and passengers with disabilities by wheelchair and electric cart -- at the Twin Cities airport.