Alaska Airlines Loses Attempt to Block Vote on Good Jobs Initiative

Contact: Heather Weiner, heather (at) heatherweiner.com

Alaska Airlines, WA Restaurant Association sought to stop SeaTac vote on living wage, paid sick leave

SeaTac  – July 19, 2013: SeaTac voters and airport workers say they are not surprised Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association failed their legal attempt to block the SeaTac City Council from sending the Good Jobs Initiative to voters later this fall. Voters and community leaders continue to question the corporations’ motivation in blocking a popular citizen initiative that will give workers in and around the airport the opportunity to make ends meet and get ahead.

Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association tried to prevent SeaTac voters from voicing their opinions on a popular voter-backed initiative to bring good jobs to SeaTac Airport and related hospitality industries. Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association, represented by corporate law firm Davis, Wright, Tremaine, filed their demands last week.

Alaska failed to convince the judge to order the SeaTac city clerk to not transmit the citizens’ initiative to the SeaTac City Council on July 23rd. Continue reading

Huge support as workers, community allies launch “good jobs” initiative in SeaTac

SeaTac, May 14 – Airport workers and community allies are moving forward on a voter initiative to improve the jobs of thousands of low-wage workers in and around SeaTac Airport.

Last week, airport workers who are part of the SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs filed an initiative petition with the City of SeaTac and have begun to collect signatures to get the measure qualified for presentation to the City Council, and for inclusion on the November 2013 ballot

More than 90 volunteers came out last Saturday to gather signatures. The Committee expects to gather enough signatures to qualify to get the measure qualified for presentation to the City Council, and for inclusion on the November 2013 ballot in the coming weeks. A broad array of workers, faith and community supporters, union members and retirees are part of the SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs. Working Washington is also part of the Committee.

The measure would set basic employment standards for workers employed in the transportation, tourism and hospitality industries in SeaTac:

  •  Paid sick leave, to allow workers to care for themselves and immediate family members
  •  More full-time work opportunities for those who need it
  •  Companies that collect automatic service charges, or collect tips on customer bills, must give 100 percent of the service charges or tips to the workers who performed the service
  •  Living wages of at least $15/hour Continue reading

Sea-Tac passengers tweeting from the baggage carousel to support poverty-wage baggage handlers

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New “First class, coach class, poverty class” ads call on @AlaskaAir to #raisethewage as low-wage worker unrest continues at our airport

Beginning this week, Sea-Tac passengers waiting at the baggage claim, smartphones in hand, will see a new ad which enlists them to tweet @AlaskaAir to #raisethewage for baggage handlers and thousands of other poverty-wage workers at our airport.

Standing out from among the more typical airport ads asking passengers to use a particular limo service, stay in a downtown hotel, or support the Gates Foundation, the new “First class, coach class, poverty class” ads — appearing at all 16 carousels — enlist passengers to use their smartphones to tell Alaska Airlines to do something to improve the poverty-class wages and working conditions at our airport. Continue reading

Below the Radar

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Puget Sound Sage has released its latest report Below the Radar:How Sea‑Tac Airport’s substandard working conditions hurt our region and how other major airports changed course toward growth and prosperity.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Many travelers are unaware of the work it takes to fly in and out of Sea-Tac Airport safely, comfortably and with all their belongings. The people who handle baggage, clean cabins and provide assistance for the elderly and passengers with disabilities are essential to the quality of this experience, yet they endure poor wages, benefits and working conditions.

The consequences and their underlying causes are below the radar of the public and policy makers.

It does not have to be this way. Continue reading