Jockeying for Fair Pay: Will SeaTac raise the minimum wage to $15?

Ellenm1 via Flickr Creative Commons

Ellenm1 via Flickr Creative Commons

After a big push from business to throw out SeaTac’s living wage initiative, Judge Andrea Darvas nullified the city’s Good Job’s Initiative due to findings of duplicated signatures. Every time a duplicate was found, both signatures had to be thrown out, leaving the group 17 signatures short of the 1,536 needed. The campaign had originally gathered over 2,500 signatures.

However, within 24 hours, organizers with the Yes! For SeaTac, the initiative’s supporters, successfully gathered an additional 250 signatures in order to appeal Darvas’ decision and reinstate the measure on November’s ballot. If passed by voters in November, the initiative would provide paid sick leave, promote full-time employment and procure a $15 an hour living wage.

Yes! For SeaTac has faced stern opposition from mega lobbying groups such as the Washington Restaurant Association and Alaska Airlines. So far, opposition efforts have collectively spent $240,000 trying to overturn the initiative.

But these big businesses are pushing their SeaTac workers and their families into poverty. Local Rev. Jan Bolerjack noted, “These people are underpaid and insecure,” pointing to the numerous airport employees that frequent the food bank at her Riverton United Methodist Church.

November’s initiative could ultimately provide workers and their families with greater economic security and prosperity, allowing them to provide even better service for the 33 million passengers that transit through SeaTac every year.

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