Voters approving SeaTac's minimum wage proposition in early returns

SeaTac Min Wage
SeaTac's Prop. 1 would raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 for certain hotels, rental car, shuttle, and other airport related businesses. (KIRO Radio/Brandi Kruse) | Zoom
In early returns Tuesday night, voters are approving SeaTac's Prop. 1 to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour.

An early vote count showed the measure carrying 54 percent of the vote.

The initiative would raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 for certain hotels, rental car, shuttle, and other airport related businesses.

Critics have argued many businesses won't be able to afford what amounts to a 63 percent wage increase and will either cut jobs or be forced to close altogether. Backers argue it's a fair measure that helps low-income workers make a living wage.

Amidst a national labor movement to increase the minimum wage nationwide, the SeaTac measure is viewed as an important first step in planting seeds for an eventual nationwide push.

Heather Weiner, with the Good Jobs Initiative, says raising the minimum wage to $15 would ensure pay rates at Sea-Tac Airport match others for similar positions on the West Coast.

"There are other airports like San Jose, LA, San Francisco, Oakland, Long Beach, that have already been setting workplace standards for workers that include paid sick leave. Those airports sometimes even include health care benefits, and San Francisco has a wage standard that is above $15, I believe it's $15.37 an hour," says Weiner.

But the wage increase would break some businesses, according to the owner of a Quiznos in Sea-Tac Airport's B Concourse.

"The $15 an hour minimum wage would ... it would put us out of business. It would absolutely put us out of business," says Brett Habernicht.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


MyNorthwest.com, Staff report
The team that brings you MyNorthwest.com
Top Stories

  • Failing
    So far, King County voters are rejecting higher car tab fees to save buses

  • Time for Change
    Shannon Drayer is expecting some changes after the Mariners' eighth straight loss

  • 21 and Over
    If 21 is the legal age for alcohol and marijuana, why not cigarettes?
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.