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Labor to Port: Don’t join SeaTac Prop 1 suit

SEATTLE (Nov. 27, 2013) — SeaTac airport workers and their supporters cheered Tuesday’s announcement that the King County Canvassing Board ruled that Proposition 1 officially won by 77 votes out of 6,003. But their enthusiasm was tempered by a business group’s decision to pay for a recount and a pending legal challenge of the measure backed by Alaska Airlines and other corporate interests.

yoshitani-tayBut now comes word that Port of Seattle, which remained neutral throughout the SeaTac Prop 1 campaign, may join in the Alaska Airlines’ suit to throw out the measure.  Labor leaders have written Port CEO Tay Yoshitani and Port commissioners urging that the publicly funded entity remain neutral in legal challenges to the publicly approved ballot measure.

“During the time leading up to the passage of Proposition 1, the Port appropriately did not take, and so far has not taken, a position on Proposition 1,”” wrote Dave Freiboth, Executive Secretary of the M.L. King County Labor Council. “Should this issue be placed before the Port Commission for review, we urge you in the strongest terms to recommend a continued position of neutrality as the case now moves to court.”

TAKE A STAND — Feel free to contact Port leaders and urge them to remain neutral and NOT to support legal challenges of SeaTac Prop 1.

Tay Yoshitani, Port CEO:
Kurt Beckett, Port Deputy CEO:
Tom Albro:
Stephanie Bowman:
Bill Bryant:
John Creighton:
Courtney Gregoire:

Barring a successful legal challenge, here’s what the voter-approved SeaTac Prop 1 will do:

  1. Puts Our Health and Safety First: Right now, many employees working in and around our airport must make a choice go to work sick, or lose their pay. Prop 1 provides up to 5 days of paid sick leave for fulltime airport employees, preventing the spread of dangerous disease and keeping our families and community safe. (Proposition 1, Section 7.45.020)
  2. Creates Full-Time Job Incentives: Right now, many of the big overseas and multinational corporations working at the airport are gaming the system, providing more part-time jobs with low pay we can’t live on. Prop 1 incentivizes airport-related businesses to employ full time workers, creating jobs our neighbors can count on to make ends meet. (Proposition 1, Section 7.45.030)
  3. Ensures Tip Fairness: Right now, many hotels and restaurants in SeaTac pocket the tips and service charges that many guests and customers believe go to their servers. Prop 1 requires SeaTac hotels and hotel restaurants to do the right thing and give tips and service charges to the employees who perform the actual services. (Proposition 1, Section 7.45.040)
  4. Boosts SeaTac’s Economy by allowing more of our family, neighbors and friends to buy locally: Prop 1 ensures that SeaTac residents employed at and around the airport can receive a living wage of $15 helping them make ends meet. Because thousands of local employees will now have more money to buy locally, it’s estimated that Proposition 1 will create 412 new jobs , with millions of additional dollars pumped into SeaTac’s struggling economy.

seatac-good-jobs-initiative“The Alaska Airlines lawsuit claims that workers employed at airports that are operated by a port district are beyond the legal protection of the city or county where that employment takes place,” Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson wrote in a letter to Port of Seattle commissioners. “Should this argument be accepted, a legal ‘no-man’s’ land would be created for all workers employed at airports throughout Washington State where the airport is operated by a port district. No other group of workers is subjected to such restrictions in petitioning for remedial workplace protection legislation.”

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!