An open letter to the Port of Seattle Commissioners

Dear Port of Seattle Commissioners,

I was shocked to hear that you and your fellow Port Commissioners are going to take time this week to discuss giving yourselves a sevenfold raise. I simply can’t believe you’ve included this on your agenda when you have failed to do anything to improve pay and working conditions for the thousands of poverty-wage workers at our airport and seaport.

Your priorities need to change.

I agree that the Commission needs to provide better oversight of our airport and seaport. And I agree that attracting a higher caliber of elected commissioners is part of making that happen. Continue reading

Good Food. Good Jobs.

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Food Workers, members of Unite Here Local 8 marched through the airport.

Waving messages on paper plates, airport food-service workers led a march through Sea-Tac Airport calling on the Port of Seattle to emphasize good food and good jobs at our airport. Port executives are currently considering changes in how food services operate at our airport that threaten to undermine the good jobs these workers have won over the years by joining together as members of Unite Here Local 8.

Working Washington and other community supporters were there to stand with these workers as they marched and sang through our airport for good food and good jobs. We loudly sang a modified version of “We shall not be moved” and after crisscrossing the airport we arrived at the arrivals hall where workers shared their stories. Continue reading

The Port of Seattle builds a swanky VIP lounge.

by Nathan Jackson

Arrivals Hall. Photo by Don Wilson.

The Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines have entered a partnership to upgrade the north terminal to the tune of $230 million dollars. The port is paying the lion’s share, investing $194 million into the upgrade that will modernize facilities, improve seismic safety and even throw in an executive lounge for VIP customers.

It’s good that the Port wants to upgrade their facilities and improve the experience of the riders who will benefit. After all it’s been 40 years according to the joint press release since the terminal has seen any upgrades. But when was the last time poverty-wage workers in that terminal have had an update to their wages or working conditions?

Continue reading