SeaTac City Council OKs $15 minimum wage for public vote

SEATAC, Wash. - A fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in this King County city has taken a major step forward.

On Tuesday night, the SeaTac City Council unanimously voted to place the so-called Good Jobs Initiative up for a public vote, which would bring the new minimum wage to more than $30,000 a year.

The pay raise, if approved by city voters in November, would apply to many hospitality and transportation workers in the city that is home to Sea-Tac International Airport.

Along with the minimum $15-an-hour wage, it would give certain workers paid sick leave and provide job security when companies change contractors.

The change is all coming about because of a petition signed by more than 2,500 people in the SeaTac area.

Many of the hospitality and transportation workers in the area say they don't make a living wage, so they're questioning the system in place in and around the airport.

"Should we actually be making something that's more a livable wage rather than just to have a roof over our head?" says one worker, Chris Smith, who refuels planes at Sea-Tac Airport.

Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association are fighting the wage increase. According to a news release, they filed a last-minute lawsuit in King County to stop the initiative.

The decision to raise the minimum wage now goes to SeaTac voters, who will have the final say in November.