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Businesses at SeaTac the airport may have to pay a living wage thanks to an upcoming ballot measure in SeaTac the city:
Voters in SeaTac – a city surrounding and including the Seattle-Tacoma airport – will decide the proposal’s fate on November 5. If approved, the new law would require a wage of at least $15 for over 6,000 workers employed at the airport and surrounding hotels. Smaller airport employers and most SeaTac companies outside the airport and hotels would be exempted.
Washington state has a minimum wage of $9.19 per hour, well above the federal level of $7.25 an hour but well below $15. Naturally, the SeaTac measure is drawing big money opposition:
Federal filings show donations from Donors Trust – a group supported by Charles and David Koch which Mother Jones’ Andrew Kroll called the “dark-money ATM of the conservative movement” – to both the Freedom Foundation and the Washington Policy Center, another local group which has produced research opposing the referendum. The National Restaurant Association has donated at least $50,000 to the opposition; the NRA referred an inquiry to the Washington Restaurant Association, which warned in an e-mail that “SeaTac workers – especially young people – will have a harder time finding local employment as more experienced, qualified outsiders converge on our city to compete for these jobs.”
Minimum wage initiatives have repeatedly proven popular with voters in other cities and states, despite the inevitable fear campaign against them. The threatened job losses never seem to materialize, and in this case, it's not like anti-living wage interests can move the airport to avoid paying $15.