Minimum wage hike on the ballot in Tukwila
Tukwila voters will decide whether or not to raise the city’s minimum wage by $3 on Nov. 8.
Historically, business communities have pushed back on campaigns to raise the minimum wage, but that’s not the case in Tukwila.
Abdi Muhmmed is among the small-business owners now endorsing the movement. Muhmmed sees this as an equity issue, but also a way to increase traffic at his new restaurant, Dubai Cafeteria & Espresso. The more money Tukwila workers pocket, the more they’ve got to spend on sambusas at his place.
Muhmmed also says the current minimum wage of $14.49 is not competitive enough with other nearby cities.
“Most people are interested in SeaTac because SeaTac is a good minimum wage,” said Muhmmed.
Right now, minimum wage earners at the airport in SeaTac make $17.54 an hour.
“A lot of people commute over to SeaTac or commute up to Seattle, specifically because the wages are higher,” said Katie Wilson of the Raise the Wage campaign.
Wilson says right now, there’s no opposition to the campaign. She thinks that may be in part due to inflation. It’s become very expensive to live in the Puget Sound area and wages in Tukwila haven’t kept up.
“Especially in the past few years, but even before then,” said Wilson. “Low-wage workers are really struggling to get by in this high-cost region.”