The voters have spoken. SeaTac Proposition 1 was approved and certified by King County Elections after a recount last week. But the new law, which will raise the minimum wage for thousands of low-wage workers at SeaTac Airport to $15/hr and allow workers the opportunity to earn paid sick days, is now being challenged in court.
Alaska Airlines, together with the Washington Restaurant Association, the Port of Seattle, and the National Restaurant Association, has filed a lawsuit, claiming that the city of SeaTac does not have authority to set wages or determine working conditions at the airport, which is operated by the Port of Seattle.
Today, lawyers on both sides were at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent, making their case to a judge who will rule on whether to affirm or toss out the new law.
King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas does not have a good track record when it comes to labor. Just a few months ago, she ruled to keep Prop 1 off the ballot. Her ruling was ultimately overturned by the WA State Supreme Court, and we expect any ruling against the statute now will be similarly overturned.
The real question is this: Why is Alaska Airlines, an enormously profitable company that pays its CEO over $12 million a year, trying to subvert the will of the people and deprive thousands of low-wage workers at the airport the ability to provide for themselves and their families?
Over a hundred workers, including a dozen Teamsters, marched around the courthouse in Kent today asking that very question.