Our day in court for $15 for SeaTac!

“We’ve waited six months for this,” Reverend Jan Bolerjack said into the gathered TV cameras on the steps of the capitol building in Olympia. “Sea-Tac Airport workers need the $15 they fought for. There is no reason they should be working full time and still have to come to my church and use our food bank. Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle need to do the right thing.”

Last November, airport workers pushed for and won a $15 minimum wage at Sea-Tac Airport. Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle sued blocking over $15 MILLION in wages for 4700 families. On June 26th the Washington State Supreme Court was hearing final arguments in the $15 for SeaTac case —and we were out in force to show our support for airport workers getting the wages they deserve.

“This isn’t just about Sea-Tac Airport,” said Tina Cummins a PDX worker who came up for the hearing. “We in PDX support you. We all deserve living wages and that’s why I came here today.” 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

Video: Low wage workers at Sea-Tac fight for good jobs and safety

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screencap2Behind a giant banner simply reading “UNION!” poverty-wage airport workers, faith leaders and community members marched down Pacific Avenue towards Alaska Airlines Global HQ. Reverend John Helmiere of Valley and Mountain United Methodist Church, wearing the white collar of his faith, glanced over at the over-sized letter informing the airline that these workers have formed a union, and then knocked on the locked glass doors.

Poverty-wage airport workers march on Alaska Airlines

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Behind a giant banner simply reading “UNION!” poverty-wage airport workers, faith leaders and community members marched down Pacific Avenue towards Alaska Airlines Global HQ. Reverend John Helmiere of Valley and Mountain United Methodist Church, wearing the white collar of his faith, glanced over at the over-sized letter informing the airline that these workers have formed a union, and then knocked on the locked glass doors.

Thousands of workers at Sea-Tac Airport are paid poverty wages. These are the cabin fireduptestcleaners, ramp workers, fuelers, skycaps and wheelchair agents. They serve the customers of Alaska and other major airlines with dignity and respect–something unreturned by their employers.

Spencer a worker for Menzies, a poverty-wage contractor Alaska hires to handle its customers’ baggage, wiped his hands on his jeans, stood in front of the Alaska Airlines HQ sign and took the microphone from the TV reporter’s hand. Continue reading