Updated: 7:33 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 | Posted: 4:49 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

Hand recount confirms victory for $15 hour wage

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Hand recount underway in $15 wage vote photo
Hand recount underway in $15 wage vote

By Essex Porter

RENTON, Wash. —

The SeaTac $15 an hour minimum wage has maintained its victory after today's hand recount. That's the word from King County Elections, where nothing was found to change the initiative's 77-vote lead.

That comes as no surprise at Cedarbrook Lodge in SeaTac. Management there opposed the initiative, fearing a negative impact on jobs and the economy.

But it may come as a surprise that the hotel is pressing ahead with an expansion that will add 63 new rooms and upwards of 25 new employees.

General Manager Scott Ostrander explained why it makes sense, despite higher wage costs. "Our ownership is prepared to green light the expansion at Cedarbrook Lodge not in spite of Proposition 1 but actually as a recovery method to Proposition 1 to try to recoup significant expenses that will be incurred as a result of Proposition 1."

Ostrander believes more rooms will generate more revenue to pay the cost of higher wages. He also says the hotel may have to cut back on benefits now offered to employees, such as free meals and free parking.

The $15 an hour minimum affects the largest transportation and hospitality businesses in SeaTac. It's supposed to take effect New Year's Day, but opponents, including Alaska Airlines, will be in court on Friday to challenge it.

"The irony is that people doing the same jobs at other airports on the West Coast are already making a living wage and have paid sick days," said Heather Weiner of the Yes for SeaTac campaign.

 

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