15 Now supporters at the October Metropolitan Airport Commission Meeting

Sign the Petition: Support Airport Workers Demanding $15/hour

Airport Workers Spark Wage Increase
MAC March with 15 Now MN

Tell Governor Mark Dayton: End Poverty Wages at Minneapolis - St. Paul Airport

Dear Governor Dayton,


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MSP Airport is ground zero for income inequality between the rich and the working poor. On the one hand you have companies like Delta who made $2.3 billion in profit last year and are headed toward $4 billion for 2014. Nearly a third of that profit was earned right here at MSP according to a Delta Vice President. That’s $700 million. Delta CEO, Richard Anderson, made $6000 per hour last year.

On the other hand, many of my coworkers at Delta have to work 2 and 3 jobs to make ends meet. Workers at Airserve, who clean Delta aircraft, make $8 and $9 per hour. In fact thousands of workers at MSP who fuel, clean and load aircraft for Delta, United, American and other airlines make poverty wages. Faring no better are those who staff airport stores, restaurants and other services.

We know it doesn’t have to be this way. When workers got organized in other airports like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, they were able to win a $15/hour minimum wage.

That’s why some of my coworkers and I have gathered well over 1,000 signatures on a petition asking the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) to raise the minimum wage at MSP Airport to $15/hour. Over 50 of us turned those petitions in to the MAC, a body appointed mainly by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.

Now we need your support and solidarity. Please sign our petition asking Governor Dayton to take a stand against poverty wages. If Governor Dayton leads, the Airport Commissioners he appoints will follow.

A victory at MSP can pave the way for winning $15 in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It can begin to reverse the deep economic inequality plaguing our state. It can address the fact that Minnesota taxpayers currently subsidize the profits of highly successful companies, when low wage workers are forced to use public assistance.

United and organized we can win.

Kip Hedges
Delta Baggage Handler

Kip Hedges, tells the Metropolitan Airport Commission his co-workers can't survive on poverty wages. He also lent solidarity to workers from Summit Construction calling for hiring more women and people of color for airport projects.
Kip Hedges, tells the Metropolitan Airport Commission his co-workers can’t survive on poverty wages. He also lent solidarity to workers from Summit Construction calling for hiring more women and people of color for airport projects.

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Fight for $15 in all 50: Tom Morello and Chris Cornell rock for 15 NOW!

On Friday September 26, 15 Now held its first benefit show Fight for $15 in all 50 to raise funds to spread 15 Now nationwide and defend the victory in Seattle. Since winning $15 an hour minimum wage our victory in Seattle has been threatened by a ballot initiative, a lawsuit from the International Franchise Association, and pro-corporate, right wing figures like Tim Eyman who has pledged to raise $2 million to challenge the minimum wage increase.

The surest way to defend our monumental victory in Seattle is to spread 15 Now to cities across Washington state and the country.  Currently 15 Now has vibrant campaigns in Minneapolis working with airport workers to win $15 and a union, Philadelphia, New York City, and in nearly 20 other cities.  With 46 million Americans living in poverty and income inequality reaching levels not seen since the 1920’s, the fight for a higher minimum wage is our generations equivalent of the fight for an 8 hour work day and the right to unionize – both won through mass struggle of working people.  And working people across the country are on the move to challenge this yawning inequality.

Join 15 Now, get involved in a chapter near you, or start one in your city.  Make a donation today of $15 a month to end poverty wages.

Headlining Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave with a special guest appearance by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave, the benefit show was a tremendous success.  800 people filled a completely sold out El Corazon in Seattle for a rousing night of speeches and inspiring music.

Seattle’s own Ancient Warlocks and Subject to Downfall started the night off with strong sets followed by powerful speeches by Jess Spear, 15 Now’s Organizing Director during the successful campaign in Seattle raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative Seattle City Councilor responsible for initiating 15 Now.


Both pointed to the key to victory in Seattle – a grassroots movement of working people that forced big business and the political establishment to concede – and the need to take the movement nationwide to confront the twin scourges of our time – income inequality and poverty.

Following their inspiring words, Tom Morello and his band unleashed a spirited and energetic set with songs such as “Uniontown” and “Marching on Ferguson” bringing the show to new heights of intensity. Then Chris Cornell joined Morello on stage and together played “Save the Hammer for the Man”.  Chris Cornell continued with several solo songs, surprising the crowd by playing Imagine by John Lennon and a mashup of U2’s One with the lyrics of Metallica’s One.  The set was rounded out with the Morello and Cornell playing several Audioslave songs together and finishing with a crowd involved rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Our Land.”

The show brought together a powerful social movement, 15 Now, and the tremendous talents of Tom Morello and Chris Cornell to create a unique and lasting experience that has inspired working people across the country.

Get involved with 15 Now today!


Mpls launch

Fight for $15 at Minneapolis Airport Sharpens

Ginger Jentzen

On Monday, September 15, workers at the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport (MSP), backed by dozens of community supporters, delivered 1,000 petitions signed by their coworkers to the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage. This action, led by workers organized in 15 Now, marked the public launch of a major new front in the fight for $15.

The campaign at MSP airport emerges less than two weeks after the first major fast-food workers strike in Minnesota and amid public discussion among city councilors about $15 and hour in Minneapolis. But as the victory for $15 an hour in Seattle showed, winning a strong $15 will require escalating pressure from a grassroots movement. Winning $15 at the airport would build momentum to win in the City of Minneapolis, similar to how the win at Sea-Tac airport inspired the launch of 15 Now and the victory in Seattle.

Over the past decade, wages at the airport have been slashed and well-paid jobs have been outsourced to the lowest bidder. “This is a part of a nationwide struggle for $15. The fast-food strikes raised expectations, then Seattle workers showed it could be won. Now it’s our turn,” explained Kip Hedges, a Delta baggage handler who helped to launch the 15 Now airport campaign.

Airport workers in St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have won a $15/hr minimum wage. (Labor Notes, 11/15/13). Just days after workers demanded $15 at the MAC, service agents in the merged American Airlines and US Airways voted to unionize with CWA-IBT, winning with 86% support.

Poverty Wages


Thousands of workers at the MSP airport make poverty wages. Delta, the largest employer at MSP, recorded $2.3 billion in profit in 2013. Some workers are paid as little as $8 an hour to clean Delta’s planes while Delta CEO Richard Anderson made $14 million in 2013, a ridiculous $7,000/ hour.

The Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC), which governs all airport activity and commerce, is run by a board of 15 commissioners appointed by Governor Mark Dayton, as well as the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, all considered liberal Democrats. At the airport and in the wider Twin Cities, the politicians preside over very sharp racial and economic divides.

To win at the airport, we will need to build pressure on politicians to act. A full victory for $15 will require building a powerful movement of workers and community supporters, with organized labor throwing its full weight behind the campaign.

But the huge support in the Twin Cities for the fight of airport workers and 15 Now is bringing together a growing movement of campaigners with a number of union locals declaring their support for 15 Now, including Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1005, Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 1833, the state councils of IAM and the AFL-CIO. The pressure on the politicians, Delta and other corporations to concede a basic living wage is building.

MPLS march


Corporate Politicians Feeling the Heat

Ty Moore, 15 Now National Coordinator


New chapters of 15 Now, the movement we initiated in Seattle last January, have formed in over 20 cities nationwide. Alongside the fast-food strikes and other fight for $15 campaigners, 15 Now is at the cutting edge of a wider movement combating income inequality in America.

The victory for a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle would not have been possible without 15 Now. Our win in Seattle opened the floodgates nationwide. Workers’ confidence, expectations, and political power are growing. Everywhere, big-business mayors and city leaders are haunted by the specter of $15 as they face mounting pressure to follow Seattle’s lead.

This summer, left trade unionists in San Francisco struck a deal with their mayor for a $15 an hour minimum wage after threatening their own ballot initiative – the same tactic 15 Now used to win in Seattle. Then in Chicago, after 21 of the 50 Aldermen declared in favor of $15, reflecting the popular pressure of workers there, 1% Mayor Rahm Emanuel moved to cut across the budding movement by promising a $13 an hour minimum wage. Facing similar pressures, Governor Cuomo has promised to support legislation that would open the door to $13 in New York City.

Finally, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti joined the chorus, calling for $13 after labor and several city councilors introduced a proposal for $15. As an August 29 Time article pointed out, the calls for $13 in the nation’s three largest cities fall short of “the now iconic $15 demand of low-wage workers everywhere… For who, on that cold November day two years ago [when fast-food strikers first demanded $15], could have envisioned that a proposal to raise the minimum wage in America’s second-largest city to more than $13 – a nearly 50% increase over three years – would not only be taken seriously but would strike some as being too modest?”

From Pittsburgh to Tampa Bay, from Madison to Tucson, 15 Now chapters are energetically building to transform workers’ growing anger – and their growing confidence – into a force for political change. But the fight looks different in different places.

Like many across the country, Oregon 15 Now chapters are fighting to overturn state “pre-emption” laws, big government bans taking away the autonomy of cities to set their own wage levels. Oregon 15 Now chapters have won important union support for their campaign, including a resolution passed by the 55,000-strong SEIU 503 statewide convention.

In Philadelphia, 15 Now has established three neighborhood action groups and is campaigning with campus workers and students to get Temple and U-Penn to ensure all campus workers get a living wage. Meanwhile, in the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston, 15 Now gathered enough signatures to put a ballot referendum for $15 to voters in November. In Minneapolis, pressure from 15 Now pushed several city council members to back a minimum wage hike, and 1,000 airport workers signed our petition for a $15 an hour minimum wage at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (MSP).

Like the call for the 8-hour workday helped to inspire the early American labor movement, the fight for $15 is emerging as a battle cry for today’s generation of low-wage workers. Within this wider struggle, 15 Now is the only national force open to all workers to join and democratically control. As a socialist, I know that building a mass movement is the only way to defeat big business and their politicians. So I appeal to you: Join 15 Now and together let’s turn this unequal, corporate-controlled system upside down!