SeaTac 'Good Jobs Initiative' headed for November ballot

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by Heather Graf / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 23 at 11:01 PM

SeaTac city council members on Tuesday agreed to put the controversial 'Good Jobs Initiative' on the November ballot.  That means voters will now decide whether to approve a $15.00/hour living wage the initiative seeks to establish.

SeaTac workers marched to city hall together, holding signs that called for 'good jobs', 'healthy communities', and 'full time work.'

Council members heard from people both for and against the idea.

"Because we have no paid sick leave, I've worked with employees that should've been home instead of spreading their germs to other employees and the public," one airport employee said.

The 'Good Jobs Initiative' would also ensure paid sick leave and full-time employment for about 6,500 transportation and hospitality employees in and around SeaTac Airport.

Nearly 2,600 signatures were collected throughout the community for the initiative and presented at City Hall last month.

On Tuesday, council members agreed to send it on to the voters, although the city attorney said they had little choice in the matter.  If council refused to put the issue on a ballot, they could be sued for it.

Those opposed to the changes fear they could come with unintended consequences.

"The truth is that this law will hurt businesses and residents alike," one woman told council members.  "Businesses will have to pay more for people, and then they will have to raise their prices."

Already, a group called 'Common Sense SeaTac' has formed, to oppose what they call a "harmful, union backed initiative."

With more than three months to go before the November 5th election, you can expect to see some serious campaigning from both sides, as they try to win over voters.

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