Sea-Tac Airport

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have poured into both sides of a heated controversy over a proposed minimum wage hike in the city of SeaTac. 

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday denied an appeal by Alaska Airlines and other business groups seeking to keep the living-wage ordinance off the November ballot.

Powerful business interests and unions are staging a showdown in the small town of SeaTac. Tuesday night, the SeaTac City Council is supposed to vote on whether to put a living wage initiative on the November ballot.  

Airport workers affiliated with unions like the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters collected signatures to put the measure on the ballot. It would set a minimum wage of $15 an hour for hospitality and transportation workers including people like baggage handlers at the airport.

Frank Kovalchek

Alaska Air Group is trying to quash a ballot initiative in the city of SeaTac that would hike wages for airport ground crew and other workers. 

The initiative would set a $15 per-hour minimum wage for hospitality and transportation workers in SeaTac—people at the airport like baggage handlers and folks who push wheelchairs, as well as hotel workers and employees at rental car companies.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Workers at Sea-Tac Airport are trying to get a big pay raise by way of a ballot initiative. If approved, the increase would put them 60 percent over the state’s minimum wage of $9.19 per hour.

Working Washington

(Editor's note May 23, 2013: Corrects to clarify that workers have signed cards to join unions but haven't been recognized as unions by their employers. Until they're recognized, they don't have legal status as collective bargaining units.)

After a year of agitating over working conditions, more than 1,000 workers at Sea-Tac Airport say they have now signed cards to join unions.

State inspectors have opened an investigation after more than 50 workers at Sea-Tac International Airport filed complaints over working conditions.

The complaints come from a wide range of ground-crew workers – people who operate refueling trucks, people who clean airplanes, people who push passengers around by wheelchair. Some say they’ve had to clean up blood and vomit without proper training or protection like gloves. Others say they have to work with inadequate equipment, like nozzles that leak jet fuel and trucks with faulty brakes.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Claiming town cars are breaking the rules, Seattle taxi drivers are threatening to stop taking passengers to Sea-Tac Airport.

The Transportation Security Administration says it will be using Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's north security checkpoint for its new expedited screening program.

TSA is testing its new PreCheck system at 28 airports this year.

David Prasad / Flickr

If you  threaten to blow up an airport, you'll  face jail time. According to the Washington State Court of Appeals, that's true even if you're mentally ill and the threat is not considered credible.

Back in 2009, James S. Ballew called 911 and, after asking to speak with a specific officer with the Port of Seattle Police, told the dispatcher he had five friends who had placed bombs in and around Sea-Tac Airport.

The call was traced to Harborview Medical Center’s psychiatric ward. 

SEATAC, Wash. — Security officers found handguns two straight days at checkpoints at Sea-Tac Airport.

The Transportation Safety Administration says a .22-caliber was found in the carry-on bag Thursday of a man flying to San Francisco. It was loaded with eight rounds, including a bullet in the chamber.

Problems with two planes and a suspicious bag kept emergency crews busy Tuesday at Sea-Tac Airport.

Spokesman Perry Cooper says there were no injuries or serious damage.