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Thread: SEA-TAC Workers get Raises, No effect on Airline Employees


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    Default SEA-TAC Workers get Raises, No effect on Airline Employees

    A voter initiative to enact a $15 minimum wage for thousands of workers in a Seattle suburb that houses the region's main airport won a narrow victory on Tuesday that proponents hailed as a signal moment in the nationwide fight for liveable wages.

    The measure mandates that some 6,300 workers at Seattle-Tacoma Airport and nearby hotels, car rental agencies and parking lots receive a minimum hourly wage more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

    Washington state's hourly minimum wage is already higher than any other US state, and will rise by 13 cents to $9.32 an hour in January. The new wage in the city of SeaTac would be among the nation's highest, just below a $15.38 rate mandated for city workers and contractors in Sonoma, California.

    Backers of the SeaTac wage ordinance see it as an opportunity to help local workers while encouraging other communities - particularly cities with progressive tendencies and smaller voting pools - to take similar action.


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    Super Moderator spongebue's Avatar
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    So, wait... why exactly does this not affect airline employees? Is there some exemption for them for some reason?
    Spongebue - NonRev Correspondent - U.S./Midwest Region


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    The measure would exempt airlines and small businesses, including restaurants with fewer than 10 employees....

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    I'm so lost. Our managers keep giving us conflicting info. I work for Delta but don't think we'd get the raise. Personally I think it's a load of crap and would've voted against it given the chance. I wonder what that's going to do to our employment. I think we'll have a hard time keeping people if they can work for $15 elsewhere.

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    NonRev Correspondent ColoAvs19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants13 View Post
    I wonder what that's going to do to our employment. I think we'll have a hard time keeping people if they can work for $15 elsewhere.
    That's exactly what's going to happen. I can't really complain with how it's worked out for me to this point, but when I decided to attempt an aviation career 7 years ago(already, wow!), I found that I would make more money working at the airport McDonalds or the gas station across the street than to work for a regional airline. I chose to take the pay cut for the opportunity to follow my passion. I know others do this as well, but I don't think it's a very large number. In many situations, more talented people go to McDonalds to make hamburgers, and less talented people are relegated to lesser tasks with regionals or ground handlers, such as communicating load information to flight crews, and deicing airplanes full of passengers who are trusting their lives to the rampers. There are plenty of very talented and hard working rampers all over the world, but I think this will only serve to greatly dilute the talent pool. Good luck man. Let us know how it works out.
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    Super Moderator MRSDS1DONNA's Avatar
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    I am looking at this in a different way. I see the price of everything at the airport going WAY up to cover the cost of the raises. Passengers will protest the price increase - especially since you can't bring a lot of things through security to mitigate the higher costs.
    MRSDS1DONNA - Senior NonRev Correspondent - Arizona

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    It looks like we'll get a ruling before Jan 1 on this from the courts. I've tried digging in on this to see if airline employees are exempt. I know for a fact that pilots/FAs, etc are. But, I can't seem to find where they draw the line. Everywhere I've read has made no mention of airline rampers, CSAs, etc. The lists I see quite often on the sites supporting/against the measure make no mention of airline employees at all. I can't help but wonder how this will turn out for those who are airline employees but not on the pay scale (ie: Delta ready reserves...aka me.) We're employed by the airline without the benefits. An in house outsourcing if you will. I don't know if there is specific language to address this issue in the proposition.

    edit: Also, with regard to prices going up, the vendors at the airport are only allowed to charge up to what they would pay on the streets for the same product. It's why prices aren't jacked up at SEA like a lot of other airports. I see there being a lawsuit over this for sure.

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    Alaska Airlines, which gave about $160,000 to oppose Proposition 1, also has suggested that it would drive up ticket prices.

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    I wonder if the exemption of airline employee in this raise at Seatac has something to do with National Railway Labor Act. We technicians have been classified by the Deparment of Labor as "NON SKILLED" work group, whereas a truck driver is considered skilled, but a truck mechanic is not. Go figure. I believe they do this to control wages, keep skilled labor cost down in big work groups in the aviation industry It's been this way for years and PAMA has always been vocal about it. I can't believe nothing has changed since I've been in this business for 20 years. We know we are skilled and nothing the DOL says really seems to phase many mechanics. Industry standard wages for airline techs pretty much keeps the title honest. And the airlines know this too We are up for contract negotiations and it's always a fight with these upper level people that don't connect with a workforce that works graveyards in inclement weather with ancient shift differential pay, with tools scattered all around knee deep in grease with language where every other word is #!@%. They just view us as grease monkeys with little consideration on training and pre-requisites. It is reflected in their contract proposals.

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    After reading the initiative again it looks like airline workers are in fact excluded. The language states something along the line of


    A transportation worker, except those working for a certificated air carrier performing services for itself.


    I wonder if Alaska will dump Menzies and hire them back on at their current rate to get around the law.

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