living wage initiative
4:18 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Recount Confirms SeaTac Voters Approved $15 Minimum Wage

Voters in the city of SeaTac have approved a $15 minimum wage, a recount of the ballots confirmed Monday.

Proposition 1 initially passed by a slim margin of 77 votes out of 6,003 votes cast last month. But even before the ballots were certified, the group Common Sense SeaTac called for a recount by hand in the hotly-contested race. 

Monday's recount confirmed the general election's outcome, King County Elections said. The recount results will be certified and posted on Tuesday, the office said.

Heather Weiner with the Yes for SeaTac Campaign said airport workers are excited they’re one step closer to making a living wage. 

"These are people who have to go to food banks. These are people who have to rely on food stamps and public assistance to make ends meet," Weiner said. 

But Greg Smith of Common Sense SeaTac, a group supported by Alaska Airlines, rental car companies and airport baggage-handling businesses, said such a sharp raise in the minimum wage will force employers to cut back. 

“In some cases, they’ll probably eliminate jobs. They may do that by automation or by reducing services to customers. There may be price increases. It’s likely that at that higher price, employers will be more selective about who they hire," he said. 

Both sides will pay close attention to a case that will be heard in King County Superior Court on Friday. A judge will hear a case spearheaded by Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association. They argue the city of SeaTac doesn’t have the authority over what goes on at the airport, which is run by the Port of Seattle.