Less than two weeks after filing a City of SeaTac initiative that would assure better wages and working conditions for thousands of low-wage SeaTac Airport workers, backers have announced that they have already surpassed the signature threshold. In an email to supporters, the SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs announced that it has collected 2,100 signatures and counting. Only 1,541 valid SeaTac voter signatures are needed to qualify for the ballot.
The measure would set basic employment standards for about 5,000 airport workers, including paid sick leave, a guarantee that workers would receive 100 percent of all tips and service charges, and perhaps must significantly, a living wage of at least $15 an hour. Most of these workers currently earn less than $10 an hour, 40 percent less in inflation adjusted dollars than they did back in 2005 before Alaska Airlines contracted out many of their jobs.
It's a pretty clever move on the part of organized labor, pushing a ballot measure in tiny SeaTac that would have such a huge impact on the welfare of airport workers. It will be interesting see how this plays out.