Citizens in the city of Seatac, WA, where I live, have tried to bring a $15/hr. minimum wage for airport and hospitality workers to a vote. But opponents have shut it down and I’ve filed a lawsuit against the city, so here we are.
This is not a satirical story, this is 100% fact. I am the plaintiff named in the suit against the City of Seatac for kicking out my petition signature for lacking a date, even when undated signatures have a precedent of being accepted in the past.
The bizarre ruling to kick out the petition comes from activist judge and person I know in real life, Andrea Darvas. My experience says she has no problem stealing votes from citizens, but it’s anecdotal.
I was targeted in a push poll by the opponents of Seatac Proposition-1, which I’ll detail in another article. There’s big money dedicated to keeping wages below the poverty line, and they mean (big) business.
Here are the actual points from the Fact Sheet at “Common Sense Seatac, and my responses to them.
I welcome your love, hate and questions in the comments below.
It’s unfair (their actual heading)
•This initiative takes taxpayer money away from things like public safety, parks and street improvements so the City can pay to monitor and enforce the law[.]
Well that’s clearly untrue and patently ridiculous. No city officials will be driving around auditing businesses. If there’s a violation, there will be a complaint. Business owners know that and be incredibly foolish to attempt to pay less than minumum wage. This hasn’t happened to a company with more than 50 employees any time I can find in the past 30 years.
•Only “large” employers of just the transportation and hospitality industries are affected but “small” businesses in SeaTac will have to keep up with wage increases.
What? Why? That doesn’t even make sense. In a later bullet point they say there won’t be enough jobs, now they’re saying all of them will have to pay premium wages. If employers choose to pay higher wages to attract higher quality employees, good for them, it’s a smart investment. If they don’t, they’ll still have plenty of employees to fill those spots.
•Only one in ten SeaTac residents would benefit, while higher paying local jobs would be lost to outsiders.
That may be, but we don’t strictly care about “us”, we care about “people”. If this means Seatac gets the highest quality employees to show off to the world when they come to visit, so be it. I don’t support this because it benefits me, I support it because it benefits everybody.
•The initiative would permanently lock in this drastic disparity. The ordinance requires the City every year to adjust the base wage to reflect inflation.
When you use loaded language like “permanently lock in this drastic disparity” you lose all credibility. Which disparity is that, the one where some people make something closer to a living wage while this law doesn’t go far enough to pull everyone out of poverty? It’s a very strange argument, and one that is meaningless in the bigger picture.
It’s exorbitant (their actual heading)
•If passed, SeaTac would have highest minimum wage in U.S. – 63% higher than Washington State’s minimum wage of $9.19, which is already the second highest state in the nation.
•In fact, it would be $4.45 per hour higher than the City of San Francisco’s minimum wage, currently the highest in U.S. at $10.55.
Those are numbers, but they don’t mean anything. That doesn’t automatically make it bad. Surely you aren’t arguing to raise the federal minimum wage but to the buying power it had when America was #1 in science, education, technology and basically everything else. Those are also jurisdiction-wide minimum wages. This only applies to specific airport-related businesses, and other cities (especially on the west coast) already have similar higher standards.
•Small businesses in SeaTac, including diners, cafes and retail stores would suffer if they have to compete with new higher wages.
No they wouldn’t. Why would they? The fact that other people on the same block earn more has never deterred an employee who has an option in the matter.
It’s overreaching (their actual heading)
•The initiative grants unions special legal status. Only unions can waive or alter the provisions, while non-union employees are prohibited from agreeing to any changes.
Is that “special legal status” that they can include the value of the benefits packages they offer? If I’m getting $1/hour in medical coverage, while working at the place next door won’t offer it, I should have the liberty to accept that offer.
•Minimum wage jobs are important to help younger workers learn skills and get experience. If every job pays $15/hr., this first step for young workers goes away[.]
What the hell kind of double-speak is this nonsense? You just said that there would no longer be lower paying jobs, even though I said there would. Clearly there will still be workers willing to get their foot in the door for lower wages, and you just argued that point yourself. You can’t have it all three ways. You’re saying it 1) Drives up all wages, 2) takes away all jobs, even from people willing to work for less, and 3) that too many great jobs will be created. You’re not even consistent on a single page!
It’s bad for the City of SeaTac: (their actual heading)
•Hurts the City of SeaTac financially:
Not it doesn’t. Not in taxes, not in job losses. Not in any way. Show me a scrap of actual proof and I’ll entertain your fantasy, but this is just the talking point of those hired and empowered by big business.
•It is likely this will drive businesses out of SeaTac and business tax revenues will go down
No it won’t, that’s ridiculous. You think the airport won’t have rental car companies? You think the only (and by far the cheapest) convention centers within 20-miles are going to just shut their doors, rather than charge an extra 2-3% for what they offer? Get real.
•The City is required to audit, monitor, and ensure compliance, costs that haven’t been budgeted[.]
Says who? Citation needed. This is an outright lie. Not “required” but “permitted”. The difference isn’t just monumental, it’s critical.
•City authorized to investigate claims of violation and take action to remedy violations. Essentially this means offering free legal services to 6,000 private workers.
“Authorized” but not “required”… you really think the bosses of all 6,000 of those affected are going to break the law? Well now I know why you’re fighting so hard against this, the people paying your bills sound like serious asshats. And it says LITERALLY NOWHERE that it has to provide legal counsel. That’s a butt fact, in that, clearly you just pulled it out of your ass.
More on this story as it develops.
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