Backers Declare Victory in Seattle Area Minimum Wage Jump

$15 an hour in SeaTac


A ballot initiative to enact a $15 hourly minimum wage for many workers in a working-class Seattle suburb that houses the region's main international airport was leading on Tuesday, with proponents declaring victory in their fight for a livable wage.

The measure would mandate that some 6,300 workers at Sea-Tac International Airport and nearby hotels, car rental agencies and parking lots receive a minimum hourly wage of $15, a rate more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

After a hard-fought battle in the city of SeaTac that highlighted a broader debate over income inequality in America, the measure was leading on Tuesday evening by 54 percent to 46 percent with 3,283 votes counted in the mail-in ballot.

But initiative opponents said it was too early to concede defeat in a city with 12,000 registered voters, with more results expected to trickle in over the next few days.