November 27, 2013 in City

Sea-Tac business-backed group requests wage-vote recount

Sea-Tac business-backed group challenges results of measure
Manuel Valdes Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

David Rolf, SEIU International vice president, right, and state Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, embrace after a news conference declaring victory on the wage initiative.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE – The election fight over a $15 minimum wage for airport workers in SeaTac isn’t close to ending, despite the ballot measure’s apparent victory.

Common Sense SeaTac, a business-backed group that opposed the initiative, announced Tuesday it is requesting a recount.

The initiative, which would require a $15 minimum wage and a handful of paid sick days for about 6,500 workers, won by 77 votes in election results certified Tuesday afternoon. That was out of 6,003 votes counted.

Under election rules, a group can request a recount from King County if it covers the costs.

“When an election is this close, everyone should be assured the outcome is as certain as possible,” Common Sense SeaTac co-chairman Scott Ostrander said in a statement.

The recount request was expected. The SeaTac measure drew some $1.8 million in campaign spending in the small city, with national labor groups supporting the initiative and national business groups opposing it.

Backers of the initiative declared victory Tuesday at a news conference at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It’s the second time the group has declared victory.

Washington has the nation’s highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

The proposition is also facing a court challenge, led by Alaska Airlines’ owner, Alaska Air Group Inc. The airline is challenging whether an initiative can give the city authority over the airport, which is operated by the Port of Seattle.

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