Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Somali-American airport cart driver appointed to Metropolitan Airports Commission

Ibrahim Mohamed has worked at the airport for 11 years. He’s the first Somali-American to be appointed to the commission.

Ibrahim Mohamed, who drives a cart at the airport for minimum wage, has been appointed to the Metropolitan Airports Commission by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Mohamed, who has worked at the airport for 11 years, is the first Somali-American to be appointed to the airport commission. Over the years, he’s worked there as a baggage runner, a ticket verifier, and in the lavatory and water services department.

He’s one of the airport workers who’ve fought to unionize at the airport, through SEIU Local 26, so far without success.

In a statement about his appointment, Mohamed said he’ll work on the commission to help airport workers improve their situations:

Article continues after advertisement

I’ve made up to $12.50 at various positions, but currently make minimum wage, which just went up in August to $8.00 per hour. I will work to make sure that workers at the airport are part of the conversations at the MAC, because when workers have fair pay, decent benefits and a reliable schedule, we are able to provide world-class service to passengers. I will continue to stand together with my fellow co-workers as we fight for dignity and respect for all workers at MSP, and will always fight to make sure the needs and concerns of workers and passengers are part of all decisions made by the MAC.

Local 26 President Javier Morillo said:

“We applaud Governor Dayton for insisting that a worker be represented on the MAC, and appointing a great candidate like Ibrahim Mohamed. I am excited to see Ibrahim continue the work he has always done fighting to make the MSP airport the best airport it can possibly be for both employees and passengers.”

Conrad deFiebre, my former colleague at the Strib, wrote in MinnPost last summer that low wages for workers may be a reason that the airport has been accused of poor service for those with disabilities.

Dayton also appointed former flight attendant Dixie Hoard, of Thief River Falls, to the 15-member commission which runs the international airport and six regional airports. Tomorrow will be the first meeting for Hoard and Mohamed.