Suit filed to block SeaTac initiative from appearing on Nov. ballot

Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the SeaTac City Council from sending the airport workers minimum-wage Initiative to voters later this fall.

The lawsuit from Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association asks the King County Superior Court to prohibit “the City of SeaTac and the City Clerk from taking any further steps to place the proposed Ordinance before the City Council for action or any other steps to forward the proposed Ordinance to King County for placement on a ballot for any election.”

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Alaska’s lawsuits specifically ask the court to order the City of SeaTac to pay for the “Plaintiffs’ costs and attorneys’ fees” for filing the lawsuit.

Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association, represented by corporate law firm Davis, Wright, Tremaine, filed their demands for an immediate injunction on July 8th. They are joined by Filo Foods and BF Foods, two Sea-Tac Airport concessionaires.

The SeaTac City Council is scheduled to vote July 23 to place the initiative on the November ballot. The council will also hold a town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m. to hear public comments.

Public testimony will precede council action at the July 23 City Council meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The SeaTac measure would set basic employment standards for workers employed in the transportation, tourism and hospitality industries in SeaTac, including paid sick leave, full-time work, a minimum wage of at least $15/hour, job security for employees when companies change contractors, and assurances that tips and service charges go to the workers who perform the service.
The measure would cover businesses in and around the airport, including airport baggage handling, passenger services, cabin cleaning, aircraft fueling, security, and retail stores, along with hotels, rental car and parking lot facilities. Small businesses are specifically exempt.

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