SeaTac Wage Proposition Passes After Recount

A hand recount of the ballots cast on SeaTac Proposition 1 — would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all employees in the hospitality and transportation industries in the city of SeaTac, Wash. — doesn’t look to have changed Prop 1’s marginal victory.

“Close only counts in horseshoes,” says Mike West, co-chair of Common Sense SeaTac, the citizen and business group that opposed the SeaTac living wage initiative. “Even though the citizens of SeaTac are narrowly divided on the wisdom of this idea, the businesses now have to prepare for living with this measure.”

Common Sense SeaTac’s committee requested King County recount the ballots on the measure, where only 77 votes separated the two sides with just over 6,000 votes cast.

“As we said during the campaign, this measure will have undesirable effects,” says West. “Across some 70 businesses, there are likely to be price increases, layoffs, changes in hiring, as well as the administrative costs expected on the taxpayers of SeaTac. But business managers are innovators and problem-solvers. Collectively, we will work with the city to seek the least costly path to implementation and individually each business will work to survive.” 

The living wage measure calls for implementation on Jan. 1, 2014, but it must also survive legal challenges. Alaska Airlines, the Port of Seattle, the Washington Public Ports Association, the Washington Restaurant Association and Filo Foods have challenged numerous aspects of the initiative, according to Common Sense SeaTac. 

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