Seattle city councilmember Sawant arrested during protest

SEATAC, Wash. -- Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant was among four people arrested during a protest in SeaTac.

Sawant was with airport workers and their supporters protesting outside Alaska Airlines' headquarters Wednesday evening. Those protesting say they're upset about what they say is the airline's support of a lawsuit filed against the Port of Seattle over the port's decision to increase the minimum wage for some workers at Sea-Tac Airport.

Alaska Airlines Senior Vice President for External Affairs Joe Sprague said: "The lawsuit is really not about wages, it is about whether a local authority has the ability to regulate the airline industry -- something the airlines feel is better done by federal authorities".

The protest started in the parking lot, but moved into the street and was blocking International Boulevard. That's when police told the protestors to move.

Some refused to budge, including Sawant, and after ignoring another police warning, they were taken into custody.

"We've made enormous progress in the fight against income inequality and the fight for decent living standards for workers," Sawant said as she sat in handcuffs on a patrol car. "We've got to do this."

Working Washington, the group organizing the protest, said the three others arrested were a current Sea-Tac Airport worker, a former airport worker and a reverend at a S. Seattle church.

Alaska Airlines says it supports fair-wage jobs and voluntarily increased wages in April.

Sawant has been a vocal supporter of a $15 minimum wage and was the first Socialist elected to the Seattle City Council in modern times.
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