Tukwila’s minimum wage increase push qualifies for the November ballot

Jun 13, 2022, 9:14 AM


Southcenter Mall (Oran Viriyincy via Flickr

Tukwila — home to thousands of low-wage workers who service the Southcenter Mall and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport — looks to raise its minimum wage to at least $17.27 an hour.

Group aims to bring Seattle minimum wage push to Tukwila

Monday, organizing members for the Raise the Wage Tukwila campaign will rally outside Tukwila’s City Hall and present a ballot-qualifying number of signatures for a November vote.

Neighboring cities such as Seattle and SeaTac exceed the state’s minimum wage of $14.49 an hour. The Raise the Wage campaign looks to match Seattle’s hourly minimum wage of $17.27.

The proposal also allocates for a cost of living adjustment, resulting in an effective hourly minimum wage of $18. The minimum wage standard would take effect in July 2023 for businesses with over 501 employees, and gradually phase- in over three years for smaller businesses. A select group of small businesses is exempt.

“This gives a voice to people who aren’t able to get a higher wage through their employer,” said Tukwila worker Indyah Hall. “It’s hard to save up because there’s not much left of your wages if you’re making 14 or 15. It’s easy to lose your check as stuff comes up.”

The campaign managed to collect 2,500 signatures to qualify for a ballot vote, exceeding the minimum of 1,661.

Raise the Wage Tukwila represents a coalition of community partners, including the Transit Riders Union.

In March, Transit Riders Union General Secretary Katie Wilson addressed a primary critique of the campaign, that a minimum wage increase could hurt small businesses.

“We’ve got a bunch of small businesses that are supportive of the campaign,” Wilson told KIRO Newsradio. “I think they see that when workers are making more money, they also have more money to spend on local businesses.”

“There was a lot of fear when Seattle’s minimum wage went into effect that businesses weren’t going to be able to afford it, but I think what we saw in practice was that the overwhelming majority of businesses were able to find ways to adjust,” she added.

Local News

echo glen juvenile...

KTTH staff

7 juvenile Echo Glen inmates escape, 4 still on the loose

Seven juveniles escaped the Echo Glen Juvenile detention center early Sunday, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

1 day ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Crew shortages force WA State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips

Crew shortages forced Washington State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips on one of the busiest travel days KIRO 7 has seen so far this year.

1 day ago

OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT and creator of OpenAI gestures while speaking at Un...

Associated Press

ChatGPT maker downplays fears they could leave Europe over AI rules

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Friday downplayed worries that the ChatGPT maker could exit the European Union

1 day ago

Woman stabbed Central District...

Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News

Woman escapes through second-story window after man allegedly stabs her in Central District

A woman escaped through a second-story window after a man allegedly stabbed her on Saturday in the Central District.

2 days ago

Paraglider Poo Poo Point...

Michael Simeona

Paraglider rescued from tree near Issaquah’s Poo Poo Point

A paraglider was rescued Friday after crashing into a tree near Issaquah's Poo Poo Point. He suffered non-life threatening injuries.

2 days ago

Tacoma rents increase...

Lauren Donovan, KIRO 7 News

Tenants protest outside city hall as Tacoma rents increase four times faster than Seattle

Experts warn that the affordability gap is narrowing, with Tacoma rents increasing four times faster than those in Seattle.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Tukwila’s minimum wage increase push qualifies for the November ballot