Battle over SeaTac Prop. 1 heads to federal court

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jlangelerKING5

KING5.com

Posted on November 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 7:57 PM

SEATAC -- A legal battle regarding SeaTac's Proposition 1 moved into U.S. Federal Court late Friday, after opponents amended an existing complaint calling the minimum wage measure illegal.

The lawsuit, filed by Filo Foods, BF Foods, Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association, was first filed in King County Superior Court over the summer, but was amended Friday.  Supporters of the measure moved the case to Federal Court.

Proposition 1 would increase the minimum wage for employees at SeaTac International Airport and other airport-related businesses like hotels and rental car companies.  About 6,300 workers would be impacted.  The measure had strong union support.

Opponents said the increase would place an unreasonable burden on businesses and city hall.  While preliminary litigation dealt with the viability of the process of getting Prop. 1 on the ballot, the amended complaint filed Friday is connected to the aftermath of Election Day.

"This won't hold up to federal review," said Alaska Airlines spokesperson Nancy Trott Sunday, "(Prop. 1) is a union contract imposed through legislation."

In moving the case to Federal Court, opponents are trying to invalidate the potential passage of Prop. 1, which by Sunday night was only winning by 43 votes.

Heather Weiner with Yes! For SeaTac, which backed the proposition, said the campaign had no comment on the lawsuit.

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