Alaska Can Do Better

Ten years ago today (5/13/05) Alaska Airlines illegally locked out nearly 500 men and women, many of them with decades of service at the airline. At 3 AM Alaska Airlines bused in subcontractor replacements — people paid much lower wages with fewer, if any, benefits, working for Menzies Aviation.

Check out the video: Alaska Airlines: Impacts of 10 yrs of outsourcing jobs at SeaTac

  • Turnover among baggage handlers for Alaska Airlines is high; the resulting lack of experience and tarmac training causes safety concerns.
  • Since 2005, Alaska Airlines has made more than $2 billion in net profits.
  • The move cost King County’s economy at least $115 million, according to a new analysis.
  • In response, the voters of Seatac approved a 2013 initiative to raise the wages 4,700 airport workers to $15/hr, causing their own ripple effect.
  • Alaska Airlines sued to block Seatac Prop 1, and it now awaits a WA State Supreme Court decision.
  • Alaska’s action 10 years ago was mirrored again and again by other airlines. Today many U.S. airport jobs are outsourced to low wage subcontractors.
  • This is part of a national trend – economists say more than 1 in 3 baggage handlers and airplane cleaners live in or near poverty. Wages have dropped by nearly 45% of many of these jobs over the last decade.

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