In November, Colorado voters approved Amendment 70, which will gradually increase the state minimum wage to $12 per hour (from its current $8.31) by 2020. But the proposal's success hasn't slowed the Fight for $15 movement, which has been holding events in the Denver area for years, though none quite like the one that took place yesterday at an unusual location: Denver International Airport.
The DIA action was part of what organizers described as a "nationwide day of disruption" in 340 cities across the country, including Detroit, where around forty workers were reportedly arrested for blocking traffic. And while struggling fast-food workers have been the focus of many previous Fight for $15 gatherings, the latest demanded $15 per hour and union rights for baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and skycaps at airports across the country. According to Service Employees International Union Local 105, outsourcing of baggage porter jobs more than tripled between 2002 and 2012, helping to drive down wages from a previous level of around $19 per hour to the $10.60 range.
SEIU 105 reps estimate that around 300 workers took part in the Fight for $15 action at DIA over the course of the day, handing out fliers to passengers who were likely unaware of how little many of the workers at the airport are making. In addition, approximately 150 workers took part in a 6 a.m. action at a McDonald's on South Colorado Boulevard.
Look below to see photos of the gathering by Left in Focus photographer Corinna Lander.