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Jess Spear: Jess Speaks up for Airport Workers at Port of Seattle Meeting


(The following was posted on Socialist Alternative Washington State House candidate Jess Spear’s campaign website.)

The workers at Seatac airport, supported by unions and their community, were the first to organize and win a $15 minimum wage. But, Alaska Airlines and other big businesses filed a lawsuit to block the workers from getting $15, saying the Port of Seattle had sole jurisdiction over the airport!  The workers are not backing down, they are demanding the Port of Seattle follow through with what voters passed in November.


Sign here to show your support for the workers!

Jess joined Working Washington, Seatac Airport workers, 15 Nowactivists, and other community supporters at the Port of Seattle Commissioner’s meeting today to demand they stop subverting the democratic process and mandate companies at the airport pay their workers a minimum of $15.  Her speech to the Port Commissioners is below:

My name is Jess Spear, I’m the organizing director for 15 Now.

The debate on 15 in Seatac is over. All the arguments were heard, big business had every opportunity to make it’s case. Business lost. In November last year voters passed 15 for workers at Seatac.

This attempt by the Port of Seattle to say that this law doesn’t apply to the airport is nothing less than a subversion of democracy, an attempt to overturn the will of the voters because it doesn’t suit business.

It’s a cruel irony that all workers in Seattle are now on track to get 15, but you, the port commissioners have stepped in to block 15 for workers here. Your mechanism is to hide behind a law from the 1940s that has never been applied in this way, saying the city has no jurisdiction in this matter, that the Port of Seattle is it’s own kingdom, with sole authority to overrule the democratic process.

But in reality what you are doing is acting on behalf of Alaska Airlines, so that Alaska Airlines can continue to make massive profits, based on paying their workers poverty wages.

It’s been 6 months since proposition 1 took effect, and still airport workers have not gotten a raise, 6 months that they have been denied what is rightfully theirs. Would you and your family like to try living on $9.32?

We are here today to stand in solidarity with the airport workers. If you do not deliver 15 to these workers, with backpay to January, we’ll be back to fight beside the workers until justice is served.


  1. Deran Deran June 27, 2014

    The whole issue of can the ballot measure regarding wages in the city of SeaTac, in which the SeaTac Airport is located, apply to the Airport, or, as the “big businesses” are strongly pushing a line that the Airport can not be regulated, especially with regards to wages, by a local regulation. The case has moved to the State Supremem Court in WA. It’s a fairly big deal for both the socialists and the business interests. If Alaska Air and the other big businesses lose the case one can well imagine $15 minimum wage campaigns will spring up where ever airports, and maritime and inland ports, where the work force is unorganized.

    Though, if you look at what the Democrats and the business interests allowed passage of in Seattle. It is very unlikely there will ever be $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle as a result of the comp[romise. The city’s mimimum wage will go up to $11 +, but there are many exceptions and outs and pase ins, and $15 an hour is not due for 7 years, and by then the Democrats and business interests will have preempted this law.

  2. Jed Ziggler Jed Ziggler June 26, 2014

    Sweet, thanks Paulie. I’ll have to play around with that a bit.

  3. paulie paulie June 26, 2014

    [font color=red]the stuff you want in red[/font]

    change square brackets to angle brackets (above the comma and period on the same keys on m=y keyboard)

  4. Jill Pyeatt Jill Pyeatt June 26, 2014

    I’d love to know! I’ve fooled around with settings, but can’t figure out how to do it.

  5. Joshua Fauver Joshua Fauver Post author | June 26, 2014

    They were red on her website and, I guess they just pasted red.

  6. Jed Ziggler Jed Ziggler June 26, 2014

    Josh, how do you make the links red like that?

Comments are closed.