Yes for SeaTac – What is Proposition 1?


  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 6.5 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 Jobs: 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 encourages 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.

Who will benefit from Prop 1?

Prop 1 will immediately help more than 6,000 people who live, work and/or shop in SeaTac, including jet fuelers, hotel housekeepers, baggage handlers, rental car employees, and many more. They and their families will have more money in their pockets to spend on groceries, rent, gas, clothing and other necessities, boosting our local economy by an estimated $54 million every year.

How will Prop 1 impact vital community services in SeaTac?

More local spending means SeaTac’s revenue base will increase, pumping more money into our local services like parks, schools and police, and making SeaTac a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Who is exempted from Prop 1?

Prop 1 protects small businesses in SeaTac. Prop 1 specifically exempts SeaTac restaurants, grocery stores, and all other small businesses. Prop 1 also exempts small hotels (less than 100 rooms and fewer than 30 non-managerial employees), small airport parking lots (fewer than 25 non-managerial employees) and small retail businesses inside the airport (fewer than 10 non-managerial employees).

What’s happened in other cities with standards like Prop 1?

At other airports where similar laws have been passed, businesses and local economies like SeaTac’s do just fine-in fact, they thrive. In San Francisco, airport employee turnover fell 60 percent and the local economy saw a $56 million dollar boost as airport employees had more money to buy goods and services in local stores. At the Los Angeles Airport-which has a minimum wage over $15 dollars an hour-dozens of companies, large and small, recently fought to win contracts to open a store. And in San Jose, Southwest Airlines helped to pass this law because it recognized the importance of high morale in increased productivity in the workplace.

How will Prop 1 be enforced?

Prop 1 requires the City of SeaTac to set up an “auditing” process, such as once a year sending a form letter to all employers requesting a simple report on compliance with Prop 1. Neither the City of SeaTac nor the Port of Seattle are required to enforce Prop 1.

Who supports Prop 1?

SeaTac small business owners, nurses, retirees, teachers, ministers, elected officials, and many more community leaders have endorsed Prop 1. View our endorsers here. To add your name to the list of Prop 1’s supporters, click here.

Who opposes Prop 1?

Big multinational and overseas corporations with few ties to our community. They have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose Prop 1 and are threatening to spend a lot more to protect a rigged system that allows them to make hundreds of millions of dollars a year at our airport, while providing jobs and wages that we can’t live off of. View Common Sense SeaTac’s PDC report here.

Doesn’t this help people working at the airport who don’t live in SeaTac limits?

People who work at Sea-Tac airport also buy local, from gasoline to groceries for their families. All of this puts money back into our local business and our city revenue base. Money is not the only benefit. “The lack of paid sick days is especially acute in jobs requiring frequent contact with the public, with potentially grave public health consequences,” says the National Partnership for Women and Families. A healthier, safer Sea-Tac Airport will benefit everyone.

Why $15/hr? Isn’t that a 60% raise?

It’s the economic boost our region needs, and has been proven to work in other cities. The standard wage for these jobs in other airports along the west coast hover around $15 an hour, including SFO and LAX.

Aren’t minimum wage jobs supposed to be entry level jobs for high school students?

Airport and hospitality jobs are not held by teenagers on summer break – most people working at these jobs are supporting families, including children and elderly parents. Some critics may say it makes no sense to require businesses to pay a housekeeper at a SeaTac hotel a starting wage similar to the starting wage of Washington’s teachers. If so, then we need to pay Washington’s teachers more, not pay housekeepers less. In fact, Proposition 1 will boost our local economy and help SeaTac’s schools.

Will people working at the airport and hotels lose their jobs?

No. And with the full employment incentive and fair base wage, fewer people will have to work two jobs or overtime to make ends meet, opening more jobs for others. According to a recent study of San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington DC, raising the minimum wages does not create mass layoffs as warned by critics.

How will airport businesses make a profit if labor costs go up?

In San Francisco, airport businesses reported a 60% reduction in employee turnover once wages increased, saving businesses an estimated $6.5 million in labor costs.

Since the start of the recession, the City of SeaTac has experienced millions of dollars in cuts to vital community services and families are struggling. Meanwhile, according to the Seattle Times, airport retailers racked up huge sales of $180 million due to record traffic last year. To offset paying employees fair wages, retailers and restaurant owners can go to the Port of Seattle and ask for relief from the Port’s high rent and “street pricing” requirements when Prop 1 passes,

Sea-Tac Airport is the 15th busiest in the country, and transportation business from airlines to rental cars are also doing really well. Yet they continue to use the recession as an excuse to cut back on wages, hours, and benefits for our neighbors. It’s got to stop. Prop 1 requires that airport employers do the right thing and allow their employees an opportunity at success.

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