Taking a small first step toward delivering on a much publicized campaign promise, newly-elected Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced at a press conference on Friday that he would sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all city employees.
The wage hike would affect approximately 600 City workers, including a handful of Teamsters who are employed as ushers and admissions attendants at the Seattle Center.
“My husband and I are trying to retire,” said Cindy Clark, a Local 117 Shop Steward, who has worked at the Seattle Center on and off for nearly 30 years. “I work two jobs, so this is great – it’s going to help us retire a little earlier.”
Mayor Murray also said that he is working with the City Council to introduce legislation this year that would raise the minimum wage in Seattle to $15 an hour for all workers. Currently, the Council is drafting three versions of the legislation.
The Mayor’s action comes on the heels of a major victory for workers in the City of SeaTac with the passage of Proposition 1, which raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour and improves conditions for over 6,000 workers in and around the airport.
Teamsters played an important role in helping to pass Proposition 1. Dozens of Local 117 members knocked on doors to talk with voters about the initiative.
A King County Superior Court judge ruled last month that the ordinance will apply only to workers outside the jurisdiction of the Port of Seattle, but that ruling will be appealed.
As we wait for the issue to play out in the courts, let’s applaud Seattle’s new mayor for taking action on such an important issue for working families so quickly in his term.