Court says minimum wage increase applies to airport workers

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Photo courtesy of Ari Hoffman.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that a voter-approved initiative to raise the minimum wage in the city of SeaTac should apply to workers at the airport.

In its 5-4 ruling Thursday, the majority upheld the entirety of Proposition 1 and expanded it to airport workers, writing that there was no indication that the law would interfere with airport operations. The majority also found that federal law doesn’t pre-empt the initiatives provision protecting workers from retaliation.

The dissent disagreed, arguing that the Port of Seattle has exclusive jurisdiction of the airport.

Residents of SeaTac, the city that surrounds Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, voted in November 2013 to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour and give workers other protections. A month later, a King County Superior Court judge ruled that the law does not apply to the airport because it is controlled by the Port of Seattle, not the city of SeaTac.

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