In a vote that’s being watched nationally, residents of SeaTac, Washington, population 27,000, will decide Nov. 5 whether to approve a ballot initiative providing a $15-an-hour minimum wage to local hospitality and transportation workers.
SeaTac Proposition 1 would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour upon enactment, and adjust it for inflation each year thereafter. It would also:
- Require employers to provide one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 6.5 days a year of paid sick leave for full-time airport employees;
- Prohibit managers or owners from taking workers’ tips, including gratuities charged to banquets or catered meetings;
- Require employers to offer additional hours to existing part-time employees before hiring from the outside; and
- Give employees of contractors an opportunity to keep their jobs when the contract changes hands.
If it passes, the measure would lift wages for an estimated 6,500 workers, including jet fuelers, baggage handlers, hotel housekeepers, and rental car employees. It would apply to airlines, hotels with more than 100 guest rooms and 30 or more workers, shuttle services and car rental agencies with more than 25 workers, and institutional food service operations — such as conference centers and corporate cafeterias — which have 10 or more non-managerial employees.