Accuracy in Media

WASHINGTON — The city of SeaTac, in the area of Seattle, Washington, saw its voters narrowly approve a $15 minimum wage, which is double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

seattle minimum wageReuters reported that the vote affects 6,300 workers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (called SeaTac by locals) and nearby hotels, car rental agencies and parking lots.

The voters approved the minimum wage increase by a margin of 77 votes, with about 6,000 votes cast in the effort. Businesses oppose the measure because it will directly affect their overhead, profits and ability to operate, and demanded a recount. Even Alaska Airlines has sued the city to block it before it goes into effect in January because they contend that the city of SeaTac has no jurisdiction over the airport. The airport is owned by the Port of Seattle, a separate entity.

Don Stark, spokesman for the Common Sense SeaTac, the business-backed campaign to keep jobs through the minimum wage laws already in effect, said that “This is a pretend solution to a really serious national economic problem…It is taking money from one pocket and putting it in another.”

Now hourly wage workers will see an increase in their income, but some will probably be laid off as businesses adjust their business models.

Pro-minimum wage activists fail to realize that by increasing the minimum wage, businesses need to adjust their overhead costs and some will lay off workers. Adding to the problem, the state of Washington already has the highest minimum wage in the state at $9.32 per hour starting January 2014. The airport, SeaTac, will be one of the highest wages in the country, behind city workers and contractors in Sonoma, California.

Reuters did mention, partly through their report, that the “Yes for SeaTac” minimum wage campaign was backed by unions. Unions typically back these measures to line their pockets with more money to back campaigns and send their union members to participate in these political campaigns.

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