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Denver Airport Workers Launch Ballot Initiative for $15 an Hour

DENVER, Colo.—Workers at Denver International Airport launched a campaign to win a $15-an-hour minimum wage with a rally Aug. 23 in front of the Denver City and County Building. Backed by UNITE HERE, they are collecting signatures to put an initiative for an airport-specific minimum on the city’s May 2019 ballot. If passed, the measure would raise wages for more than one-fifth of the 30,000 airport workers. “After 19 years of working at DIA airport, neither my wife or I make $15 an hour,” said Amelton Archelus, a Haitian immigrant who works in food services for United Airlines. “My daughter and I have to share a house with 20 other people, including seven other children, because I cannot afford to live in Denver on my own,” added Teresita Felix, another United food-services worker. The initiative would raise the airport minimum in steps, not reaching $15 until 2021. Colorado’s state minimum, now $10.20, will go up to $12 in 2020. Fifteen other airports in the U.S. have their own minimum wages; Sea-Tac, Washington voters set a $15 minimum for hospitality and transportation in 2013, primarily covering workers at Seattle-Tacoma Airport and its satellite businesses. Read more

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