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Port Of Seattle Proposes Lifting Airport Workers’ Minimum Wage To $13 By 2017

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 file photo, 16-year veteran skycap Fred Harris prepares multiple baggage tags for a traveler at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash.

The Port of Seattle Commission has introduced a plan to set a higher minimum wage for workers at Sea-Tac International Airport.

The resolution would lift the minimum wage to $11.22 per hour this coming January, then increase the wage to $13 by 2017. The port would also require employers to provide paid days off to their workers.

“People who are working behind security lines in permanent positions deserve to have a family wage job, and we are going to provide a proposal that ensures those people will have family wage jobs,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant, one of several people who led the effort. 

The commission will vote on the proposal next week. 

The port’s move to address wages comes two days before the Washington state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an appeal over the $15 minimum wage measure that passed in the city of SeaTac last fall. Proponents of the measure plan to argue that city wage laws should apply at the airport.

A lower court judge ruled late last year that the Port of Seattle has jurisdiction at the airport, not the city of SeaTac.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.