If you happened to be at an airport during MLK Day today, you probably didn’t notice too many airports celebrating this historic day (to our disappointment). That said, you probably felt that Dr. King’s spirit was alive all the same if you witnessed airport workers’ protests at many airports across the country. There were several things these airport employees were demonstrating during this national day of civil disobedience – higher wagers (backing a $15 minimum wage proposal which would drastically increase the workers’ wages, which can be as low as $6.75 per hour), as well as shaking off threats against their rights to unionize. Dr. King would certainly have supported the airport workers’ plight of reaching for a higher minimum wage, as he supported a $2 minimum wage (around $15 in today’s terms) nearly 50 years ago. This “living wage” concept has also been on the front pages of US newspapers during the course of the Republican and Democratic debates, and will be a key issue for voters later this year.
One of the largest MLK Day demonstrations was by DCA (Reagan International Airport, which we plan to cover in the tripchi app soon) workers and supporters in Washington, D.C. Around 200 workers and supported blocked traffic from Independence Avenue SW, next to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall, and then marched from the memorial along Independence Ave. Their final march took them to a blockade of the Kutz Bridge over the Tidal Basin.