Tell Port of Seattle Commission: Vote ‘NO’ on McAirport!

The following Action Alert was distributed by UNITE HERE Local 8:

SEATAC (Mar. 2) — The Port of Seattle is proposing to bring McDonald’s into SeaTac Airport at the expense of good jobs, workers and communities of color, good food, environmental sustainability, social responsibility, small business and our airport’s local character. The Port Commission may vote on giving McDonald’s a lucrative 12-year lease as early as Tuesday, March 6.

TAKE A STAND!  Commissioners need to hear from anyone who cares about workers, small businesses, environmental sustainability, healthy food, etc.  CLICK HERE to send commissioners a message urging them to vote against the McDonald’s proposal and to create the airport concessions program that our community deserves.

ALSO, if you or your organization are willing to sign on to this letter to port commissioners on the issue, please email Local 8’s Stefan Moritz today. We must act quickly because a decision is imminent.

BACKGROUND — “Where a Sustainable World is Headed,” the Port of Seattle’s tagline, may be about to lose another piece of its credibility in light of emerging news that Port of Seattle staff is recommending to offer a contract to the McDonald’s Corporation to provide lucrative food service concessions close to the airport’s central terminal.

Some 1,500 people are employed as concessions workers at SeaTac International Airport. Many of them are union members who have fought hard to collectively create family wage jobs at SeaTac. Those jobs are in jeopardy given the Port of Seattle Commission’s decision this February not to guarantee any protections for workers from being replaced with poverty wage employees without access to affordable benefits.

The Port of Seattle justified this decision with having to balance multiple interests, citing the concerns of lawyers, small, local and minority owned businesses and the ability to offer customers a “distinct Northwest flavor” at the airport as some of the reasons for not providing the families of the diverse, majority immigrant workforce at the airport with a prosperous economic future.

Despite continuously stressing its commitment to quality jobs, environmental sustainability, and the stated goal of allowing for more opportunities for small, local, and minority owned businesses, the Port of Seattle now appears to consider bringing in McDonalds as the first step in its massive upcoming overhaul of airport food and retail concessions.

The proposed McDonald’s deal appears to satisfy not a single principle outlined by the Port of Seattle for its airport concessions program and flies in the face of the hardworking concessions workforce, our local airport small business community, and the concerns of sustainability advocates in our region.

Check out KING 5’s recent report — Airport economic impacts not limited to ticket sales and cargo — about the $13 billion-plus economic impact of the airport. Amid all the gushing about airport concessions growth and jobs, a non-union concessions worker describes how he is working TWO jobs there just to try to make ends meet.

Our Port should demand better.

Please take action today!

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