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Protestors gather at Missoula International Airport

Missoula International Airport Strikers
Posted at 4:06 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 18:21:19-04

MISSOULA — The Missoula International Airport is seeing workers strike this week, citing poor wages.

Now, they've had to bring in workers from surrounding areas to fill the positions while they strike.

Workers were protesting their wages in front of the airport for the third straight day on Wednesday.

"We haven't really heard anything about the pay raise, except that it's coming," Jared Bonney said. "We are actively suspended without pay. So we're here until the issues get resolved."

Bonney said he's worked at the airport for three years and is tired of waiting for a raise, "I make 10.15 right now, but the hiring rate is 9.65."

He says that's not enough for him, or those standing next to him, to pay rent.

"It's just been tough to support ourselves, them supporting themselves, and we're all expected to take on second jobs because we can't afford to live off this."

Unifi is a subcontracting company for Delta and United Airlines.

Interim Airport Director Brian Ellestad says there’s been no disruption to flights, and no flights have been canceled.

"They brought in other workers so everything is being operated. And it's not their whole staff, it's a small part of their workforce that walked out, and they've been able to backfill with management.”

Bonney said about 10 of the 38 employees are participating, and by Wednesday afternoon he confirmed nine were suspended without pay.

Bonney said they're asking for about $14 per hour.

"They're just looking for -- to try to be paid equal to their peers at other airports," said Ellestad.