Airport and hotel workers in the SeaTac, Washington area are celebrating a huge victory after a historic vote finally passed that will raise the minimum wage for those employees to $15 an hour.
The ballot, known as Proposition 1, just barely passed after weeks of counting finally resulted in a 77-vote victory for the initiative. The initiative will set the minimum wage for the nearly 6,500 workers at $15 an hour, as well as allowing them more paid sick days.
Still, despite the initiative passing, there will more than likely be a recount after a political committee that lobbied against Proposition 1, Common Sense SeaTac, has said that it is challenging the vote to ensure that there are “the most accurate possible” results.
“When an election is this close, everyone should be assured the outcome is as certain as possible,” said Scott Ostrander, co-chair of Common Sense SeaTac. “If there’s one thing we all learned from the 2004 recounts of the governor’s race, counting ballots has a margin of error like any other human endeavor.”
Most airport and hotel workers are excited about the passing of Proposition 1 and seem to agree that it will finally pay hard working people what they deserve to be paid.
"The workers at the airport work hard but don't get what they deserve," said Abdirahman Abdullahi, who works at the SeaTac Airport’s Hertz Car Rental. "They're juggling two or three jobs just to pay the bills, let alone to save money. This initiative, it's going to improve their lives."
21-year-old Joshua Vina is a baggage handler at the SeaTac Airport and says that his current wage of $9.50 an hour is not enough to support his wife and his son, but that the new $15 an hour minimum will change his life for the better.
“I can’t provide for Christmas, but I definitely can provide for my son’s birthday in March,” said Vina.
Washington State currently has the highest minimum wage in the country at $9.19 an hour. The national minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. After the passing of Proposition 1, SeaTac now has the highest minimum wage in the country.