Sea-Tac Airport workers: Wage/benefits initiative set to go on ballot

SEATAC -- Sea-Tac Airport workers said Wednesday they have submitted enough voters' signatures to put on the November ballot their 'Good Jobs Initiative' to improve employees' wages and benefits.

Supporters delivered more than 2,500 signatures to the SeaTac City Clerk’s Office. Only 1,541 valid signatures are required to qualify the measure in the city.

“Today, we celebrate in SeaTac. Filing the initiative shows how the community is coming together in its care and concern for one another. When working families can be paid properly and thrive, our whole community benefits,” said the Rev. Jan Bolerjack, pastor of Riverton Park United Methodist Church.

“It’s great that so many people support the 'SeaTac Good Jobs Initiative' and it was easy to get signatures.” said Assadollah Valibiergi, a wheelchair attendant who works for Alaska Airlines contractor Bags Inc.

“It's not fair that, you know, we're the ones that do all of the work  and we're the ones that make all of the contractors and all of the airlines at the airport all their money, and we do not get a fair share of the money that is made at the airport,"  said worker Erik Frank.

The 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 for those who need it, a living wage of at least $15 an 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.

The SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs includes workers, faith and community supporters, union members and retirees.