Efforts to have food service and hotel workers at Denver International Airport be paid a minimum wage of $15 an hour begin in earnest this week with the official launch of the $15 for DIA campaign.
Kevin Abels, the Denver chapter president of Unite Here’s Local 23. one of the groups behind the campaign says that while Colorado voters approved a state-wide minimum raise increase in 2016, it is no where near enough for estimated 6,000 workers who are being paid minimum wage at the airport. “Someone would have to work 85 hours in a single week to be able to afford a one bedroom apartment in Denver.”
Abels says that the Denver airport is booming but workers there aren’t sharing in the economic gains. “As anyone who lives in Denver knows, Denver Airport is booming. You just have to drive up Pena Boulevard and see the cranes around, or walk through the terminal and see the construction, the expansions that are planned on the concourses as well. It’s the fifth busiest airport in the nation and it’s driving the tremendous economic boom that the Denver metro area is seeing. The challenge is that many workers are not sharing in the successes of the Denver Airport.”
Campaign organizers will need to gather 4,726 verified signatures from registered voters on ballot petitions to have the measure placed on the May 2019 Denver municipal ballot.