Alaska Air among plaintiffs doggedly pushing back on SeaTac min. wage

Alaska Airlines and other plaintiffs are continuing their long legal battle over SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage law. They’ve asked a King County Superior Court judge to set a trial date so they can present evidence about how the higher minimum wage would interfere with airport operations.

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Alaska Airlines jet. Photo shared via Wikimedia Commons.
Alaska Airlines jet. Photo shared via Wikimedia Commons.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled in August that SeaTac’s voter-approved $15 minimum wage law applies at the airport. A majority of the justices said there was no indication the higher wage would interfere with the Port of Seattle’s ability to operate the airport.

But Alaska Airlines and the other plaintiffs say they didn’t have a chance to present facts in court about whether that’s indeed true.

Cecilia Cordova is an attorney for two small businesses that operate at the airport.

“The Supreme Court left open the question of whether the ordinance impermissibly interferes with airport operations and we’re simply asking the court to conduct fact finding on this issue.”

But Dmitri Iglitzin says otherwise. He’s an attorney for the union-backed group that got the higher minimum wage proposition on the ballot two years ago.

“There clearly is no question mark,” Iglitzin says. “There is no serious person reading the Supreme Court decision that thinks there’s still any room for doubt.”

In the meantime, Iglitzin says many employers at the airport have accepted the Supreme Court decision and are paying workers $15.24 an hour. That’s the inflation-adjusted wage.