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View Diary: Millions of minimum wage workers are getting a raise—no thanks to Congress (69 comments)

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  •  A SeaTac Update (2+ / 0-)
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    rickeagle, martini

    A Judge ruled on Thursday or Friday that the law doesn't apply to SeaTac Airport because it is controlled by the Port of Seattle (at least that's what I remember).

    So for now the airport workers won't be affected but I suspect the pressure on the airport employers will push the minimum wages up there over time.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. Dalai Lama

    by TPain on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:09:40 AM PST

    •  HUH? (2+ / 0-)
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      AlexDrew, martini
      The voter-approved law establishing a $15 minimum hourly wage for travel and hospitality workers in a Seattle suburb encompassing the region's main international airport does not apply to workers at the airport, a judge ruled on Friday.

      King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas ruled that the city of SeaTac does not have the authority to set workplace rules within Seattle-Tacoma International Airport because the aviation hub is owned by the Port of Seattle, a separate government entity.

      what pressure? SeaTac workers can make all the demands they want; the judge says SeaTac cannot grant them the desired $15.00 an hour. what would force the employers to grant this wage?

      http://www.reuters.com/...

      "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:32:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Economic pressure. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rickeagle, martini, 2BOrNot2B

        If the minimum wage in surrounding areas is $15, it will become harder for the airport to hire staff.

        At least that what economists seem to suggest.

        But what do I know?

        Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. Dalai Lama

        by TPain on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:26:47 AM PST

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        •  So... Seattle -Tacoma Politicians (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AlexDrew

          have the authority to demand McD's, BK, KFC, etc., etc. franchisee owners must pay entry level workers $15.00 per hour?

          Nope.

          the accepted minimum wage in the area will not magically or automatically rise to $15.00 per hour.

          "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 11:24:14 AM PST

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          •  As progressives, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Superpole

            why can't we support common sense, sustainable policies? A $15hr starting wage (with raises I assume) for working at a fast food restaurant is insane.

            We are hurting the people we are claiming to help. Incremental and adjust is the way to do this. Have we learned nothing from Obamacare?

            •  You May Have Noticed.. Some (0+ / 0-)

              Progressives here live in a sort of fantasy land.

              it doesn't help that Ed Schultz makes inane, baseless demands on his show; "Well, harrumph! McD's corporations makes Billions per year, they can afford to pay their workers
              more!"

              WRONG. many McD's are owned/operated by franchisees, not the main corporation. the franchisee/owners decide what to pay to whom.

              "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

              by Superpole on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:42:43 PM PST

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          •  Doesn't apply to them. (1+ / 0-)
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            6412093

            Prop 1 specifically exempts restaurants, small businesses, and even hotels with less than 100 workers. It's supposed to apply to airport workers for the most part.

            •  Ooops. Correcting myself. (0+ / 0-)

              Prop 1 applies to hotels with more than 100 rooms and 30 workers.

            •  <sigh> How Many Times do I hafta post (0+ / 0-)

              the LINK?

              the judge's ruling specifically stated airport restaurant workers will NOT get $15.00 per hour.

              "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

              by Superpole on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:39:10 PM PST

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              •  I know that. (0+ / 0-)

                I was just trying to show what the law originally referred to. It never said that every stand-along McDonald's/KFC/Burger King had to pay its workers $15 an hour. It only referred to such establishments which were part of a larger center (read: the airport). With this court ruling, the entire purpose of the law has been gutted.

      •  The Port Commissioners are elected officials. (6+ / 0-)

        The commissioners have been arguing that they don't have the authority to set a minimum wage on Port facilities. Now that the Judge has ruled that they and only they have that authority they will be facing a lot of political pressure.  The commissioners have a long history of being responsive to their corporate tenants (Alaska Airlines...) and not to the public. Last November a more labor friendly commissioner was elected.  It will be interesting to see now how they respond as they are definitely going to be under a lot of pressure to institute a higher minimum wage.

        •  Of Course... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AlexDrew

          The minimum wage there locally could be raised (over a set time period, it's seldom all at once) to something like $11.50 an hour. MAYBE.

          Economically, in terms of how QSR businesses are run, there's no way anyone can reasonably demand $15.00 per hour.

          and $11.50 will not be enough to lift these workers out of poverty.

          "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 11:29:29 AM PST

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      •  What would force employers to pay? (0+ / 0-)

        When they can't get replacement workers for those who left for higher paying jobs outside of SeaTac.

        Of course, there is another way as well. Don't renew contracts for those companies that don't comply with the stated desire...

    •  What a revoltin' development this is (2+ / 0-)
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      Livvy5, 6412093

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      Several years ago, Alaska Airlines (the largest airline at the airport) led the race to the bottom by contracting out their baggage handling, effectively busting the bag handlers union, and turning family wage jobs into minimum wage.
      Since then, there have been several unionization drives among the bag handlers, fuelers, janitors, and other low wage workers at the airport.  One of the problems with trying to unionize such is diverse work force is of course, the diversity. They all work for different employers.
      Appeals to Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle to put pressure on the sub-contractors to raise wages have also failed.
      Finally, we got an initiative on the City of Sea-Tac ballot last November to raise the minimum wage in the city and at the airport to $15. The initiative eked out a slim victory in the election.
      Friday, a district judge ruled  that the city of Sea-Tac does not have authority to set wages at the airport. However, employers in the city will have to abide by the initiative and begin paying their workers a minimum of $15 starting January 1.

      For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

      by Grey Fedora on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:32:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This judge was a problem to start with. (0+ / 0-)

      She tried to block the organizers from placing this initiative on the ballot in the first place, and was overruled. Let's see how the appeal turns out to be.

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