People working at the airport, the city of SeaTac, and the voters WON!


In a 5-4 decision, the WA State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the voters' decision to require employers at the airport to pay fair wages and provide sick leave. 

"We hold that Proposition 1 can be enforced at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport because there is no indication that it will interfere with airport operations. We also hold that federal labor law does not preempt the provision protecting workers from retaliation."

Full opinion here. 


WHEN:    3pm Thursday, August 20th

WHERE:  Airport Arrival Hall, near carousel 1 (the far end of the level 1 concourse)

Relevant documents, images, videos and our legal briefs, including the Amicus Brief from the WA State Attorney General, can be found in this public drop box.   

Videos of people who worked for Alaska Airlines in 2005, and people who now work for Alaska Airlines through a contractor, available here.


Last year SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs and the City of SeaTac appealed the county judge's ruling that voter-approved Proposition 1, raising transportation and hospitality wages to $15/hr plus other benefits like paid sick days, does not apply to 4,700 people working for businesses inside SeaTac airport. 


  • Thanks to the Alaska Airlines/Port of Seattle lawsuit challenging a voter-approved wage increase, some 4,700 people working for airline contractors/cargo handlers, rental car companies, and airport terminal concessionaires have lost more than $15.2 million in needed wages, plus paid sick leave and job protection.
  • Contrary to public understanding,the Port of Seattle has never implemented its own wage and paid sick leave rules, passed days before oral arguments.  Port of Seattle Resolution No. 3694, as amended (enacted July 22, 2014) made the effective date of those raises “45 days following the date of a final judicial determination." 
  • Since 2005, Alaska Airlines has made more than $2 billion in net profits, in part by outsourcing good paying jobs at SeaTac to contractors.
  • The move cost King County's economy at least $115 million, according to a new analysis.
  • Menzies, the British-owned global corporation, which calls itself “the second largest ground and cargo handling organisation in the world,” has annual revenues in excess of $1 billion.
  • Restaurants and stores inside the airport made more than $180 million last year as more than 33 million passengers shopped, ate, and traveled to meetings and their families.
  • Airport restaurants have donated more than 100,000 pounds of food to the Des Moines Area Food Bank, where many of their own workers go to get help to feed their families at home.
  • Airport workers covered by Prop 1 currently make an average of $1,472 a month, just below the Federal poverty threshold for a family of three ($1,590) and far below a monthly budget required to make ends meet in the region for a family of three ($4,136).
    • Socrates Bravo: 26 has worked for Alaska Airlines’ subcontractor Menzies Aviation for close to 4 years.  Sharing a Seatac apartment with roommates, he works 60 - 70 hours/ week to make enough to take care of his young daughter and to pay for classes at CWU in Criminal Justice, where he expects a degree this year.
    • Luis Careno:  44, has worked for Menzies since 2006, hired just months after Alaska Airlines fired 500 employees and replaced them with Menzies workers. He started worked at Menzies for just $9.75/hour and today, after almost a decade at the company, he makes the same as a new hire at $12/hour.  He lives in Seatac and pays child support for his 10-yr old daughter. 


  • Ten million Americans are employed in aviationrelated jobs.  And the industry, which accounts for more than 9% of GDP, is projected to make record profits of nearly $20 billion this year. 
  • This is part of a national trend - economists say more than 1 in 3 baggage handlers and airplane cleaners live in or near poverty. Wages have dropped by nearly 45% of many of these jobs over the last decade.
  • Airport workers around the country are fighting to raise their wages, from LGA to LAX.