Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport workers employed by Air Serv won a victory this week when the company agreed to provide them with paper copies of their paycheck stubs.
While it may seem like a minor issue, the pay stubs were a sore point for a number of Air Serv employees who lack access to computers. And it marks one more win in on an ongoing campaign to improve working conditions.
“We’re earning minimum wage and a lot of us can’t afford a computer,” said Darcy Landau, who has worked as a wheelchair agent at MSP for the past two years. “And there are also people from countries like Ethiopia and Somalia who may not have computer literacy.”
Pay stubs are important, he said, so that workers can make sure they are being paid for all the hours worked. Air Serv recently switched to an electronic payroll system, with paycheck information available only via a website.
Earlier this month, about two dozen Air Serv employees rallied in the main terminal, then tried to deliver a petition with 225 signatures of fellow employees to Air Serv managers. No company representative came to meet the group or accept the petitions, so MSP Operations Director Phil Burke met with the workers, listened to their concerns and promised to deliver the petitions for the protestors.
In addition to seeking paper copies of their pay stubs, the petition called on Air Serv to meet with workers about their scheduling complaints. Workers say Air Serv has adopted a last-minute scheduling policy that has resulted in fewer work hours and made it difficult for them to plan both work and personal time.
The company has yet to respond to the scheduling complaint. Landau said workers will continue their efforts to improve their working conditions, both for themselves and the passengers they serve.
“I like the job and I enjoy helping people,” he said. “But we need to be earning a living, not just scraping by.”
Workers are organizing through unions and other organizations to improve their lives. Union representation provides a voice on the job and the opportunity to improve wages, benefits and working conditions.