While the $15 minimum wage measure still faces a recount, the Minimum Wage campaign isn’t wasting any time.
The group Working Washington is planning a march on Thursday to take the campaign from SeaTac to Seattle, both metaphorically and physically.
“It’s going to be all day long in the tradition of marches for social justice struggles we’ll be landing at Seattle City Hall at 4:30,” organizer Sage Wilson told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross.
Dave: Are you going to wait to see if it works in SeaTac before moving it to Seattle or are you just going to barge ahead?
Wilson: We know that increasing pay for workers works. There’s a minimum wage standard at a lot of other West Coast airports.
Dave: Which other airports has this been tried at? And do they have the same kind of pricing scheme that Sea-Tac has where you can’t charge more at the airport than you do outside the airport?
Wilson: I’m not sure about that specifically, but we do have LAX, San Francisco, San Jose as well as Oakland, and I believe St. Louis, that have a strong living wage and good job projection there.
What they all have in common is those airports continue to prosper and people are better off. Certainly, many of the airline and contractors who operate at Sea-Tac also operate at these other airports. So we know for a fact that they can operate and provide good jobs and still prosper if we want them to.
Dave: If, for some reason it doesn’t work and some of these businesses at the airport close up, what do you do?
Wilson: I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think the evidence is clear that increasing wages, increasing demand is good for the community. The mayoral race, where our new mayor is on record pretty strongly supporting moving toward a $15 wage and of course, incoming Councilmember Kshama Sawant described her own election as effectively a referendum on a $15 minimum wage. Other councilmembers have expressed support as well.
Dave: So you think you can pass an ordinance through the city council?
Wilson: We’ll see.
Dave: And after Seattle, then what?
Wilson: After Seattle, the world.
The challenges for the minimum wage initiative are not quite over. Alaska Airlines and others have filed a lawsuit trying to get it thrown out.
Common Sense SeaTac announced last week that it will request a recount from King County.