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$15 Minimum Wage Creeping Into Washington State – Several Cities Could Be Voting on Measure

City of SeaTac could be voting on $15 minimum wage
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It’s not just a national movement, led by food service unions and special interest groups who reportedly support entry-level workers.

Now, a number of cities in Washington state are actually asking voters to approve an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The Washington state chapter of Americans for Prosperity reports Wednesday the City of SeaTac, next to Seattle and Tacoma,  came within a whisker of having it’s residents vote on the issue.

King County Judge Andrea Darvas  ruled the measure did not have the required number of signatures to qualify for the November ballot, and it was stricken from the election.  However, supporters of what is being called The Good Jobs Initiative, are considering appealing or trying to get enough signatures to get it back on.

Nansen Malin, director of AFP for Washington state, send an email to numerous media outlets outlining why this could have significant ramifications for our state, especially if it does end up passing:

‘First of all, the predictable response of businesses will be to lay off employees. A business with 3 waiters or housekeepers currently at $10/hour will reduce their staff to 2 workers at $15/hour. The least productive of the 3 will be laid off, and the remaining 2 will be asked to work harder. A good portion of the Sea-Tac worker’s raise will come from the paycheck his neighbor no longer receives.”

Malin goes on to explain the curious decision of labor unions to support such a plan:

‘This minimum wage would not just apply to those on the bottom rung of the employment ladder; it will bump up wages for everyone. The skilled worker will demand to be paid better than the unskilled worker now earning $15/hour, the supervisor more than the supervised, the manager more than the supervisor, and so on. This is why the union is backing the initiative their members don’t make minimum wage, but they are expecting araise across the board. This initiative will cost business far more than just $5/hour for their lowest paid employees.”

Malin and AFP explained the idea sounds good to those who believe workers should make more money, and they don’t have a problem taking wages from the profits of businesses.  But those profits are often what enable the business to grow, and sometimes even keep the people they have.    While some might benefit from a $15 minimum wage,  more people will lose their jobs, hurting the overall economy in the long run.

   There’s been no official word on if the $15 minimum wage proposal will actually make it onto the SeaTac November ballot.

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