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usdcaguy
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Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:24 am

There has been some controversy about the new $15 minimum wage now law in Sea-Tac, WA. Right after the law was voted in, Alaska Airlines put the breaks on it at the airport by filing suit in court. They had already fired the baggage handlers and ramp workers making $20 an hour and brought in Menzies at $9.50 an hour. Given the "international" aspect of airlines and the custom of paying the same wage everywhere with a few exceptions for premiums (AS pays an "Arctic" premium), I can see where they might try to get away with paying low wages. However, hotel workers in the area now make $15 an hour while airport workers still struggle to make ends meet. If airlines are now so profitable, why don't they abide by local law and pay the minimum wage instead of suing to keep their workers poor while their affluent passengers stream past them?

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/seata...s-fight-exclusion-15-minimum-wage/
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:32 am

They are not paying as its not the law.

The voter ordinance was found by a court as not having jurisdiction over the airport and invalid.

The city voters could only mandate local business activity in their city, not over the airport which is governed by its own independent authority.

As far as paying people more, any wage increase must get passed on to consumers via inflationary ticket pricing.
Unfortunately airlines do not have pricing power, so any ticket price increases even a $1 can reduce demand.
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HPRamper
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:40 am

It completely backfired on the airport workers, many of whom live and vote in the city of Sea-Tac and were under the impression they were essentially voting themselves a pay raise. Clearly the bill authors did not expect a loophole to be found so easily.
 
UALFAson
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:45 am

Because airlines, like most other for-profit businesses in America of late, have decided that they will return profits to shareholders instead of increasing wages for employees.

Whether this is good or bad can certainly be debated, but now that it's become the standard m.o., a company that doesn't do so risks turning off investors and therefore having a harder time raising capital and/or raising it at higher rates.

Of course, if most other entry-level customer service jobs in the city are paying $15/hour, Alaska may have difficulty hiring and retaining employees, so they may have to raise wages just to be competitive. And as the largest airline at SEA, they're going to be paying a lot more in cumulative wages than their fellow airlines with a smaller presence. Is that fair that their competitors have hubs in cities that only require workers be paid $8/hour or whatever?

But if they have to raise wages, they're not just going to eat those costs--they're going to pass them on to consumers. And while many Seattle-area passengers are "affluent" (your word), many others are price sensitive, so demand could be reduced, which isn't good for anybody.

So it's a lot more complicated than just forking over another $6/hour for the same work because it's the "right" thing to do.
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usdcaguy
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:50 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):

The city voters could only mandate local business activity in their city, not over the airport which is governed by its own independent authority.

The fact that the board is run by representatives from different municipalities does not change the fact that every business in that establishment is simply renting space from the airport and doing business in Sea-Tac, WA. Most employees in the airport are not employees of the airport authority but of the businesses that operate there.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):

As far as paying people more, any wage increase must get passed on to consumers via inflationary ticket pricing.
Unfortunately airlines do not have pricing power, so any ticket price increases even a $1 can reduce demand.

That's not true anymore. Airlines have cut capacity so as to reduce supply in the market, tighten inventory and thus charge more. That's what is driving the profitability, not cutting wages. The days when excess capacity dictated how much money airlines had to pay employees are now over.
 
lweber557
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:56 am

Sad they brought Menzies in favor of they're own employees. I worked for Menzies for two years and that is one sorry ass company. But I understand why airlines contract them because they are dirt cheap, don't pay employees anything or give decent raises, and nearly every flight I worked with them was under-manned so they can pay even less.
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peanuts
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:57 am

This is the dumbest thing I've heard in ages.
Raising the minimum wage will absolutely do NOTHING for the people they think it serves.
Get your economics lessons straight guys. This is absolute nonsense.

One word: Pandering

[Edited 2014-04-21 20:03:31]
 
HPRamper
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:00 am

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 3):
Alaska may have difficulty hiring and retaining employees, so they may have to raise wages just to be competitive. And as the largest airline at SEA, they're going to be paying a lot more in cumulative wages than their fellow airlines with a smaller presence. Is that fair that their competitors have hubs in cities that only require workers be paid $8/hour or whatever?

To be clear, it isn't Alaska paying basically minimum wage - it's Menzies. However, if those pressures do start to show up on Menzies, it may well affect their contract with AS as they will want to pass on the wage increases to keep making their profit.

Anyway, it's not unheard of for airlines to pay less at their hubs. FedEx pays the same wage scale at the MEM hub as they do at the smallest size trunk ramps in the country - on par with Great Falls, MT and Appleton, WI. Any kind of major city, even medium size cities like Spokane pay more than MEM.
 
Mir
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:11 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
The voter ordinance was found by a court as not having jurisdiction over the airport and invalid.

The city voters could only mandate local business activity in their city, not over the airport which is governed by its own independent authority.

That's a pretty shady ruling - the airport is within the city limits, so city laws should apply, regardless of who operates the airport. Hopefully it gets overturned on appeal.

-Mir
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ssteve
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:21 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
That's a pretty shady ruling - the airport is within the city limits, so city laws should apply, regardless of who operates the airport. Hopefully it gets overturned on appeal.

The port authority's a state entity, and state trumps municipal the same way fed trumps state.
 
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:37 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Thread starter):
If airlines are now so profitable, why don't they abide by local law and pay the minimum wage instead of suing to keep their workers poor while their affluent passengers stream past them?

AS is paying (at least) minimum wage. $15 is proposed.

That said, I have little comment on whether or not $15 is fair. In general, I'd that if it isn't, those people should go find other work as there's a fair bit of it available around Puget Sound. But then again, $15 isn't very much. I'd expect virtually everyone inside the airport (including janitors and people at fast food restaurants) to make that much.
 
Mir
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:37 am

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 9):
The port authority's a state entity, and state trumps municipal the same way fed trumps state.

Technically it's not a state entity, it's a county entity. County still trumps municipal, but all that means is that the Port of Seattle isn't bound by the ordinance, and doesn't have to treat its own employees accordingly. Companies like Menzies are not county entities; they are private companies doing work for other private companies within the city of Sea-Tac, and thus should be bound by the ordinance.

-Mir
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ssteve
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:51 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 11):
Technically it's not a state entity, it's a county entity.

Oh, duh. I was thinking it ran some stuff in Pierce, too. You're right, then. County and city are far more peers than city and state.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:52 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
The city voters could only mandate local business activity in their city, not over the airport which is governed by its own independent authority.

  

This.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 4):
Most employees in the airport are not employees of the airport authority but of the businesses that operate there.

And if you'd actually read the law, you'd know that union CBAs supersede the law; all AS front-line airport employees are under a CBA, so the law has precisely zero effect on them. Besides, when you factor in fringe costs on top of wages even starting wages at AS eclipse the $15/hr mark.

But that's why this law was so heavily supported by organized labor like SEIU; they knew it would encourage employers to embrace unions organizing on their properties since they would be exempt from the law.

[Edited 2014-04-21 22:59:16]
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Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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usxguy
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:24 am

All this ordinance do was open the door to increase SEIU membership -- that's it. And of course drive up the cost of goods all around Sea-Tac.

Alaska is not entirely covered by this law as most of their staff are already unionized.
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Aesma
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:36 am

Quoting peanuts (Reply 6):
This is the dumbest thing I've heard in ages.

You must not follow European politics much then.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 6):
Raising the minimum wage will absolutely do NOTHING for the people they think it serves.
Get your economics lessons straight guys. This is absolute nonsense.

One word: Pandering

That's an economic theory. Not everybody agrees with it.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:13 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 13):
And if you'd actually read the law, you'd know that union CBAs supersede the law; all AS front-line airport employees are under a CBA, so the law has precisely zero effect on them. Besides, when you factor in fringe costs on top of wages even starting wages at AS eclipse the $15/hr mark.

It is true that many AS employees may make over $15 an hour, especially if they have good seniority (if that is the case, why is AS complaining?). However, many union contracts set the minimum wage applicable in the CBA as a percentage above or a specific dollar amount above the minimum wage. When the minimum wage increases, that may also trigger an increase in the minimum wage in the bargaining agreement. In that case, AS would have to comply with the increase in wage like everyone else.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 13):
But that's why this law was so heavily supported by organized labor like SEIU; they knew it would encourage employers to embrace unions organizing on their properties since they would be exempt from the law.

The SEIU would never negotiate a salary below the minimum wage. They regularly peg negotiated wages to the minimum wage. Workers would not vote to be represented by them otherwise.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 15):


That's an economic theory. Not everybody agrees with it.

I certainly don't. What is the minimum wage in France again? Over $13 an hour? And isn't healthcare paid by the government at 80%? There are certain things we don't seem to understand in the US, and it's a sorry state of affairs.
 
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:38 am

There is also pressure at the NY City airports from the PANYNJ to also mandate higher minimum wages at them. They seem to have little ability to do the same at EWR. Over the last 20 years, we have seen a collapse of rates of pay for many jobs at airports, including those working in secure areas. Low wages and highly security sensitive areas are not a good combination. Let us also not forget that in many areas like SEA and NY City, the costs of housing in particular had gone up much faster than the general inflation and has gone in opposite directions with flat and declining pay.
 
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:44 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):
There are certain things we don't seem to understand in the US, and it's a sorry state of affairs.

Than also be prepared to pay more taxes. That's the part of the equation I never hear anybody talk about in the US. And I'm not talking about the rich paying their "fair share". I'm talking about the middle class. You make 60k, you'd pay in the 40 (yes, FORTY) percentile range in some countries. Not including the high sales taxes you pay on a daily basis.
Currently Americans making around 50k/yr pay very little effective rate income tax.

Europeans trust their governments to manage their hard earned money. Americans trust themselves, but it's changing rapidly so hold on. Looks like you're getting your utopia after all. Just remember to pay up.

It's naive to think a government pays 80% of healthcare. It's YOUR money!

In the end, it is all about politics and who gets to control what. Now Washington state wants to be a front runner with all this. It's all good. Just realize there is a price. A huge one. And it won't be Bill Gates paying it.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:42 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 18):
It's naive to think a government pays 80% of healthcare. It's YOUR money!

But somehow the government manages to do it cheaper.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 18):
Currently Americans making around 50k/yr pay very little effective rate income tax.

But how much do they pay for good health insurance that won't screw them at the first opportunity ? What happens when they lose their job ?

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):
What is the minimum wage in France again? Over $13 an hour? And isn't healthcare paid by the government at 80%? There are certain things we don't seem to understand in the US, and it's a sorry state of affairs.

Yes 13$, and healthcare is almost free, you have to pay 1€ to the doctor and some cents per box of drugs. You also get a state pension of course. And if you live in high cost of living places you qualify for affordable housing and help to pay the rent. Then you get money if you make kids.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
T5towbar
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:04 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 17):
There is also pressure at the NY City airports from the PANYNJ to also mandate higher minimum wages at them. They seem to have little ability to do the same at EWR. Over the last 20 years, we have seen a collapse of rates of pay for many jobs at airports, including those working in secure areas. Low wages and highly security sensitive areas are not a good combination. Let us also not forget that in many areas like SEA and NY City, the costs of housing in particular had gone up much faster than the general inflation and has gone in opposite directions with flat and declining pay.

The NJ Governor hasn't committed to an increase like the NY Governor did. That's why there are protests to bring these workers up to the same rates as over in NY. SEIU and other organizations are spearheading this effort.



Quoting peanuts (Reply 6):
This is the dumbest thing I've heard in ages.
Raising the minimum wage will absolutely do NOTHING for the people they think it serves.
Get your economics lessons straight guys. This is absolute nonsense.

One word: Pandering

Wrong.
Wages for most workers have been stagnant for a long while and the minimum wage hasn't been raised in years. When poor people get just a little more money in their pocket, it helps the total economy, because they SPEND their money. It circulates back into the economy and everyone else benefits from the activity. Giving those workers a raise helps everyone else gets more money in their pockets. They are not like the rich who do not spend all of their money, and Wall Street has been going like gangbusters in this economy. But on "Main Street", the average person person does not feel the effect of it, because of stagnant wages. We all know how "trickle down" feels like.............. that experiment failed.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 18):
Currently Americans making around 50k/yr pay very little effective rate income tax.

I wouldn't be too sure on that figure. But we do pay a lot in state and local taxes as well.
A comment from an Ex CON: Work Hard.....Fly Standby!
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:39 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 18):
Than also be prepared to pay more taxes. That's the part of the equation I never hear anybody talk about in the US. And I'm not talking about the rich paying their "fair share". I'm talking about the middle class. You make 60k, you'd pay in the 40 (yes, FORTY) percentile range in some countries.

I would gladly pay more in taxes if that meant actually getting something for my money besides a military capable of destroying the world and wrecking peoples' lives in faraway lands.

In terms of tax rates, I calculate that I pay 39% in taxes already, if you include social security, insurance premiums , 401k contributions and state taxes. The taxes in France give the average French person a pension and almost free medical care. They therefore get more for their money than we do; their pension is guaranteed and healthcare does not involve meeting sky-high deductibles and paying onerous co-pays at the hospital. Oh, and don't forget better schools and transportation systems to make their lives better.
 
theDjinn
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:50 pm

Somehow, the legal arguments appear to be missing the fact that both LAX and SFO are sitting smack in the middle of Living Wage Ordinance laws and managing to force every airline employer at both airports to comply with their requirements... so, how did SEA-TAC miss that?

I find that perplexing. It's not like anybody is reinventing the wheel in a vacuum. Granted, $15 is higher than either of the others.

Still, my LAX and SFO co-workers are paid a good bit more than I am, not because they do better work, or are more senior, but because their local governments are smarter than my company. At top out, we will all meet at the same point.
 
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:59 pm

LAX living wage ordinance is mere $10.91 for companies that offer health insurance. Quite a bit more reasonable and different than whopping $15.00 proposed at SEA.

One needs to remember many of these jobs at airports are low skilled ones like it or not.
No reason a McDonalds employee at the airport should earn $15 when outside the airport the wage might be $9. All the $15 dollars does is force up cost further on airport service providers which eventually the public must cover. One big inflationary cycle.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
raddek
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:30 pm

Menzies does not start off at 8/hr. They pay 10.00 and hour. So does DGS. Swissport and and a few other vendors may pay 9 something an hour, but for the most part, most jobs at the airport are right at or around 10/hr. So that is on par with what LAX has in place. To ask for 15/hr? That is a little steep. I can see them trying to get maybe 12/hr or something. That would be a very reasonable wage to start out at living in the SEA area.
 
Jet-lagged
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:32 pm

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 20):
It circulates back into the economy and everyone else benefits from the activity. Giving those workers a raise helps everyone else gets more money in their pockets.

Living in Seattle, I hear about the $15 not only for the airport, but more broadly. There is quite a bit of support or at least sympathy, more than you'd see elsewhere. In the news, you'll hear or read about various 'studies' that conclude the overall economic benefit for the city/state/country would be positive. Many people will never ever ever accept such outcome as possible, and immediately poor scorn all over it. I'm not an economist and haven't played with any numbers myself, so I don't really know. But I do like that people are will to look at the problem from a different angle, look at the big picture, and crunch some numbers. A race to the bottom isn't the most compelling race to engage in.
 
OB1504
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:57 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 11):
Technically it's not a state entity, it's a county entity. County still trumps municipal, but all that means is that the Port of Seattle isn't bound by the ordinance, and doesn't have to treat its own employees accordingly. Companies like Menzies are not county entities; they are private companies doing work for other private companies within the city of Sea-Tac, and thus should be bound by the ordinance.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 23):
LAX living wage ordinance is mere $10.91 for companies that offer health insurance. Quite a bit more reasonable and different than whopping $15.00 proposed at SEA.

   MIA is also subject to living wage is $12.23/hour for for companies that provide health insurance and $14.01/hour for companies that don't. However, it only applies to companies that have contracts with the aviation department (an arm of the county). Airlines still start at the $10/hour range.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 23):
No reason a McDonalds employee at the airport should earn $15 when outside the airport the wage might be $9.

I agree, but I do feel that a ticket/gate agent merits more than $9/hour. I just read this very apt description of the job: "For example, if you work the ticket desk, your job is to keep a serene face as every breed of ill temper and halitosis invade your space and slide you passports with booger-tainted hands."
 
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N776AU
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:15 pm

In the end though if you don't like the pay of a particular job nobody's forcing you to be there.
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EA CO AS
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:42 pm

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):
It is true that many AS employees may make over $15 an hour, especially if they have good seniority

Seniority has nothing to do with it. When you factor in fringe costs, the hourly benefit of even STARTING employees is well over $15/hr. And seniority only adds to it; I know of one reservations agent who worked her tail off this past year doing tons of OT and made a six-figure salary.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):
However, many union contracts set the minimum wage applicable in the CBA as a percentage above or a specific dollar amount above the minimum wage. When the minimum wage increases, that may also trigger an increase in the minimum wage in the bargaining agreement.

No such language exists in any CBA at AS. Not one.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):
The SEIU would never negotiate a salary below the minimum wage.

Yes they would, when the minimum is as artificially high as the Sea-Tac one is. Especially if in exchange the CBA contained benefits not required under the Sea-Tac law and a progressive pay scale with a high top end.

Remember, SEIU is interested in one thing only - increasing their membership.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):
why is AS complaining?

They have a fiduciary responsibility to do so; one of their largest vendors was faced with unreasonable legislation that would artificially increase their costs dramatically and was likely to pass them on to AS. If you were a business owner in the same predicament, you'd have opposed it too.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
lweber557
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:41 pm

Quoting raddek (Reply 24):
Menzies does not start off at 8/hr. They pay 10.00 and hour. So does DGS. Swissport and and a few other vendors may pay 9 something an hour, but for the most part, most jobs at the airport are right at or around 10/hr. So that is on par with what LAX has in place. To ask for 15/hr? That is a little steep. I can see them trying to get maybe 12/hr or something. That would be a very reasonable wage to start out at living in the SEA area.

In AUS they started at $9.50 and got a whopping $10.50 when I become a lead. Supervisors made $14 I think. $12 would be reasonable for Austin. Flight benefits after 30 days though. That was two years ago though so hopefully they get more now because when I was at that station we worked our asses off for that sorry company.
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blueflyer
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:11 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):
Yes they would, when the minimum is as artificially high as the Sea-Tac one is. Especially if in exchange the CBA contained benefits not required under the Sea-Tac law and a progressive pay scale with a high top end.

My question is how? If there is a minimum wage law (let's assume SeaTac's is valid), it is exactly that, a law, not a nice idea with lots of loopholes, and no CBA in the world can trump a law.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:12 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):

Seniority has nothing to do with it. When you factor in fringe costs, the hourly benefit of even STARTING employees is well over $15/hr

The problem is, people need to pay bills. Fringe benefits aren't squat if you can't pay the rent or buy groceries with them. Thus the demand for $15 an hour.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):
No such language exists in any CBA at AS. Not one.

Even if that's the case, the unions will want to open up the CBA for renegotiation. If that fails, they'll demand over minimum wage in the next CBA. Don't worry, they'll take care of their membership nicely if $15/hr comes around.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):

Remember, SEIU is interested in one thing only - increasing their membership.

Yes, that's why they advocate for increases in the minimum wage and want to be seen as fighting for workers. If they can advertise that "they" got a higher minimum wage passed and can get even more in their contracts, they'll look successful and people will want them on property.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):
They have a fiduciary responsibility to do so; one of their largest vendors was faced with unreasonable legislation that would artificially increase their costs dramatically

If Menzies can't absorb the costs and asks for too much, AS is likely to put up the entire station for rebid. Also, how do you know that costs will go up dramatically and that they could not be absorbed by other means? We would need to do a complete analysis to come to that conclusion.
 
777ord
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:20 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 23):
LAX living wage ordinance is mere $10.91 for companies that offer health insurance. Quite a bit more reasonable and different than whopping $15.00 proposed at SEA.

One needs to remember many of these jobs at airports are low skilled ones like it or not.
No reason a McDonalds employee at the airport should earn $15 when outside the airport the wage might be $9. All the $15 dollars does is force up cost further on airport service providers which eventually the public must cover. One big inflationary cycle.

LAWA is a total joke! Somehow they feel that that amount actually makes it affordable to live on. It doesn't... Most of my agents live at home with parents or with many roommates. On a personal level, I am sad to see it happen. No one should really have to live like that. But, on a professional level, I agree with you LAXINTL. Why should a company pay someone X dollars to flip a burger or move a piece of luggage when that is the only job responsibility you have. It's not like a doctor or airline pilot etc....Infact, if someone saw that McDonalds was charging 2x more for a meal in terminal that out, it would make people turn away.
 
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:30 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 31):
The problem is, people need to pay bills. Fringe benefits aren't squat if you can't pay the rent or buy groceries with them. Thus the demand for $15 an hour.

How about personal responsibility for those that complain to instead get the appropriate educations and then a career which pays more?

No one is forcing anyone to work for $9 at the airport. The concept that we should somehow now throw $15 at them is nothing more then "give me" entitlement mentality. How about instead go out an really earn a job that pays $15?

At the end of the day, imo let the market decide what the fair pay is. Sure those jobs that require low skill set obviously will be low paying as there are huge masses of people that can work them, while the specialty high skill jobs can earn more as there are less folks capable of handling such jobs successfully.
The working world is very much like a pyramid, lots of people on the bottom and very few on the top for a very valid reason -- supply & demand.
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mham001
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:39 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):
It is true that many AS employees may make over $15 an hour, especially if they have good seniority (if that is the case, why is AS complaining?). However, many union contracts set the minimum wage applicable in the CBA as a percentage above or a specific dollar amount above the minimum wage. When the minimum wage increases, that may also trigger an increase in the minimum wage in the bargaining agreement. In that case, AS would have to comply with the increase in wage like everyone else.

This. When a skilled person making twice the minimum wage is suddenly near parity with any unskilled body off the streets, they rightly want to get paid accordingly. All wages will rise and union wages will jump off the charts.

Quoting theDjinn (Reply 22):
Somehow, the legal arguments appear to be missing the fact that both LAX and SFO are sitting smack in the middle of Living Wage Ordinance laws and managing to force every airline employer at both airports to comply with their requirements... so, how did SEA-TAC miss that?

Inaccurate analogy, SFO is owned by the city.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:41 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 30):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):Yes they would, when the minimum is as artificially high as the Sea-Tac one is. Especially if in exchange the CBA contained benefits not required under the Sea-Tac law and a progressive pay scale with a high top end.
My question is how? If there is a minimum wage law (let's assume SeaTac's is valid), it is exactly that, a law, not a nice idea with lots of loopholes, and no CBA in the world can trump a law.

The law was specifically written so that wages under a union CBA would supersede the minimum wage law. Again, this was written and supported by people who aren't really interested in $15/hr jobs for all, but rather getting on the property at places that are currently not union shops.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 31):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):
Seniority has nothing to do with it. When you factor in fringe costs, the hourly benefit of even STARTING employees is well over $15/hr
The problem is, people need to pay bills. Fringe benefits aren't squat if you can't pay the rent or buy groceries with them. Thus the demand for $15 an hour.

  

Fringe costs like health benefits, sick leave, retirement and so on are costs that the company absorbs, keeping the employee from out-of-pocket spend for it. So in effect, yes - you CAN pay the rent or buy groceries using the money you didn't have to spend on those benefits separately.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 31):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):No such language exists in any CBA at AS. Not one.
Even if that's the case, the unions will want to open up the CBA for renegotiation.

And they can, at the next amendable date. Keep in mind that the wage scales won't get changed; at very best there would be a differential paid to SEA-based employees to be even with the local minimum wage law, but keep in mind even that is extremely unlikely as the company will point to fringe costs/benefits that currently equal higher than the $15/hr rate and that will be the end of that.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 31):
If Menzies can't absorb the costs and asks for too much, AS is likely to put up the entire station for rebid

Possibly, if the union can show their proposal will cost the company less than Menzies or another vendor. But that's how the IAM left the property ten years ago; they weren't competitive with Menzies, and the company reserved the right to outsource the work if a savings could be realized.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 32):
LAWA is a total joke! Somehow they feel that that amount actually makes it affordable to live on. It doesn't...

A single person can absolutely live on that; these "living wage" arguments feel like a person is entitled to X amount for entertainment, X amount for a car, X amount for vacations, or even raising a family. News flash - minimum wage isn't intended for someone to support a family on; it's an entry-level wage for entry-level work until a person can build the skills and experience to command higher pay. Want that higher pay? Then make yourself more marketable so you can get someone to pay you accordingly.

[Edited 2014-04-22 18:52:46]
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Maverick623
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:51 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 33):
At the end of the day, imo let the market decide what the fair pay is.

Since "fair" is subjective, and "market" is generally objective, your statement is literally meaningless.


What you are really trying to say is that the "market" (no matter who controls it or what it consists of) is always fair.

I'm sure plantation owners in the 1850s thought so too.
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:57 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 36):
Since "fair" is subjective, and "market" is generally objective, your statement is literally meaningless.

"Fair" would seem to imply the wage at which you have no trouble attracting and retaining qualified applicants. If a company offers $30/hr to flip burgers I'm sure they'll have no problem getting people to apply. If they offer $8.00/hr they will have more difficulty. So they find a point where people are willing to do the work and go from there. As we saw in the late 90s when unemployment was at record lows, companies had to offer more and more in the way of wages and benefits to attract prospective employees. In mid to late 2008 and beyond, the dynamic has changed since there are more applicants than there are jobs and employers don't have to throw buckets of money at people to come work for them.
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Maverick623
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:13 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 37):
"Fair" would seem to imply the wage at which you have no trouble attracting and retaining qualified applicants.

That's not the definition of fair.... the definition you provided is a good one for "equilibrium".


The use of fair as a substitute is an attempt to make anyone that disagrees with the person that uses it seem "unfair", and thus, wrong.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:17 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 38):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 37):"Fair" would seem to imply the wage at which you have no trouble attracting and retaining qualified applicants.
That's not the definition of fair.... the definition you provided is a good one for "equilibrium".

But you can't achieve a point of equilibrium without a large enough number of prospective employees deciding an offered wage was "fair" and worth their time and energy.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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frmrCapCadet
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:59 am

If it has not been mentioned before Seattle is working at raising minimum wage at this time. This will have a big impact on the controversy.
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LAXintl
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:08 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 39):
But you can't achieve a point of equilibrium without a large enough number of prospective employees deciding an offered wage was "fair" and worth their time and energy.

  

A couple weeks back I was helping one of my clients hire about 10 people at LAX for one of those $10.91 living wage ordinance jobs.

For the 10 positions they received well over 200 applications, with many already experienced in customer service field and extremely happy at prospects of earning $11.

There was zero reason to pay $12, or let alone $15 when the jobs could be filled with plenty of capable applicants at $11. Frankly in reality if not for the wage ordinance we could have probably been able to pay $9.50 or $10 and still gotten a great turn out.


Last thing, lets not forget the actual cost of these employees is not $11/hr, its more like $18 to the company when things like insurances, uniforms, equipment, training, taxes are factored in.
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:47 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 41):
A couple weeks back I was helping one of my clients hire about 10 people at LAX for one of those $10.91 living wage ordinance jobs.

For the 10 positions they received well over 200 applications, with many already experienced in customer service field and extremely happy at prospects of earning $11.

My company just hired 25 employees in the PHX area; starting wage is $10.92/hr plus a $1.00/hr differential for bilingual candidates. We had over 300 people apply.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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707lvr
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:35 am

This $15.00 dream is already spreading - to Seattle, and the proponents have given no thought at all to the disastrous consequences of such a shock to the economy. I can tell you that landlords in this burg are already drooling at the thought of their new rents. Think about it; you have a couple of minimum-wagers in a 2-bedroom. Between them, they make $38,800 a year now and pay $1,400 a month in rent. What do you think their rent will be when they're making $62,000 a year? And that is only the beginning. What happens to all the people who make, say, $17.00 an hour now? It might help if some actual economists got into the debate.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:04 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):

It is true that many AS employees may make over $15 an hour, especially if they have good seniority (if that is the case, why is AS complaining?).

For one thing, because many businesses would like to decide what people are worth rather than always having it dictated by an outside force. For example, instead of paying someone $12, another $15, and another $18 (based on experience, tenure, productivity, etc), you will now see them all paid $15 because it is being dictated. Money doesn't grow on trees and, unlike the government, businesses can't just wave their tax wand and make it appear. Customers can and do push back.

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 20):
Wages for most workers have been stagnant for a long while and the minimum wage hasn't been raised in years.

Been to Washington State lately? It goes up almost every year, and is currently $9.32/hour. You're 16, snot nosed, inexperienced, a bit arrogant, and looking for a first job? Guess what, you make $9.32/hour. Never mind that there are adults who I'd like to pay more to but who I can't because that extra dollar or two that they could be making is going to the young guy who would've been happy with $7, doesn't need insurance, etc.

I'm in retail and we already know that, at a minimum, the AHA is going to cost us an average of $4/hour per employee. We have employees today who we already subsidize their insurance for to the tune of up to $900/month. That's on top of their regular hourly wages. But that's not all. Nearly ALL costs have been going up: Insurance, medical, property taxes, cost of goods sold, utilities, advertising, maintenance - you name it.

I'm happy to see people who deserve more money making more money. This constant push to raise the minimum wage locally to $15/hour - ONTOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE - is just insane. And it will hurt the smaller businesses more than the bigger ones.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 32):
Infact, if someone saw that McDonalds was charging 2x more for a meal in terminal that out, it would make people turn away.

One problem is that the airport requires "street pricing". So now you are requiring the McDonald's to pay $15/hour plus benefits to that airport employee but STILL only charge the street price for your food. The rent is likely astronomical already. You've also got the Seattle ordinance requiring businesses to provide five days sick leave per week to all their employees (not familiar with all the specifics), the Affordable Healthcare Act requiring you to provide insurance, yada yada yada, and pretty soon you end up with a business (or industry) that is unable to charge enough for their product to make money.

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usdcaguy
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:11 am

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 43):
This $15.00 dream is already spreading - to Seattle, and the proponents have given no thought at all to the disastrous consequences of such a shock to the economy. I can tell you that landlords in this burg are already drooling at the thought of their new rents. Think about it; you have a couple of minimum-wagers in a 2-bedroom. Between them, they make $38,800 a year now and pay $1,400 a month in rent. What do you think their rent will be when they're making $62,000 a year? And that is only the beginning. What happens to all the people who make, say, $17.00 an hour now? It might help if some actual economists got into the debate.

This is an interesting question. The rental market is made up of a huge variety of salaries. Most places do not want to cater to minimum wage earners but instead cater to a more upmarket crowd (that group can also include students with rich parents, as I have witnessed). Apartments are priced accordingly and are thus $1,400 for someone making $62k a year and not $22k a year. Those making $30k a year, up from $19k a year, might now be able to access more rentals that were not priced for them previously. What we may see is that instead of forced-roommate markets (this happens in places like LAX, NYC, SFO, etc.) is that people move out and now get a place of their own or at least get down to two and not four roommates. A price increase would not necessarily follow if people now have the expectation that only 1-2 people will be paying for the apartment. In either case, I still think it's a win for a higher minimum wage.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:53 pm

The notion that more demand for apartments would NOT force rents higher is somewhat utopian. What we THINK would happen may be nothing like what DOES happen.

There is a local, family-owned drugstore/pharmacy that is going out of business this month after 90 years. The reason was that the Affordable Care Act created some "unintended" consequences. Apparently, there was this grand idea that drug companies would magically hold down the prices of their drugs - I guess in concert with the insurance companies. However, since January they have in many cases doubled or even tripled the cost of medications, KNOWING that the insurance companies will be required to provide them. However, at the same time the government has placed a reimbursement cap on said drugs. As a result, when the pharmacist finally gets reimbursed for the medications, he is losing money to the tune of $500 A DAY.

People expected the costs would just stay the same in the face of higher demand. Why?

In the case of the $15 minimum wage, why should we expect the cost of things like rent to magically stay the same in the face of higher demand?

One more sidenote is that it will be the small businesses who suffer under these laws more than the big businesses. In the case of the pharmacy, he is selling his inventory and customer list to Safeway because Safeway doesn't need to make money on it - it's just a loss-leader. Interestingly, it's also the small businesses that are the least likely to be able to unionize. As stated up thread, is that the motivator behind all this?

Who knows.

-Dave
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MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
rentonview
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:21 pm

I think what's missing from this conversation is input from people who are actually making minimum wage as adults, as opposed to hot air from entitled middle aged white guys who believe their $1/hr. lawn moving job when they were 15 means they have a grasp of what it's like to pick one's self up from their bootstraps.
 
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ramprat74
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:33 pm

At my company at SFO. A bunch of part time ramp employees were awarded the Lead position. That bumps your pay $1.75 a hour. Guess what, they only received a .10 cent raise because they were already at a higher pay scale because of the city of San Francisco wage ordinance compared to the CBA they fall under.
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: Sea-Tac Airport Minimum Wage Fight

Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:41 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 2):
Clearly the bill authors did not expect a loophole to be found so easily.

This is not the final word. Another court may overturn the decision, and if not, the Port Authority might vote to mandate the raise, since the court essentially said all power resides with the Authority.

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