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Airport workers walk out over 'firings' and alleged disrespect from management

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A group of nearly 50 cabin cleaners at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport walked out on Tuesday reportedly over staff firings and "disrespectful management."

The Star Tribune reports 45 non-unionized Air Serv Facility Services subcontractor cleaners walked out at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and held a 90-minute demonstration outside an administrative building.

The newspaper reports they are disgruntled over a decision to let eight to 10 workers go, which according to the Service Employees International Union was because of a "refusal to perform mandatory overtime work."

But KSTP reports the workers are also said to be unhappy because they "are constantly being disrespected by management."

"We want the other people to see that we are not OK, we are not happy," Air Serv worker Idreis Dahir told the TV station. "These people are not happy with the management – the way they treat us, the way they talk to us."

At the current time the company, which also provides airport security services and arranges ground transportation, has not responded to calls for a comment from KSTP and The Associated Press.

The airport has been the scene of several protests in recent months, with workers joining in with the wider demonstrations from fast food restaurant employees and other workers from the services sector calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission earlier this month revealed it will consider a proposal to increase the minimum wage for 2,800 workers the airport to $10 an hour from August – $1 above what the state's minimum wage will rise to this summer – and $10.50 an hour next year.

The Star Tribune notes employees of airport subcontractors mostly oppose the $1 raise proposal though, saying this is not enough to stop them having to work jobs and share housing to make ends meet.

The MAC will vote on the proposal next month.

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