Resolution in Support of Minimum Wage Increases

September 20, 2023

WHEREAS, in 2013, voters in SeaTac, WA kicked off the nationwide fight to raise minimum wage standards across the country by passing the first city-level $15 minimum wage anywhere in the country, and

WHEREAS, the following year a unanimous Seattle City Council passed a $15 minimum wage, becoming the largest city to pass $15 up to that point, and

WHEREAS, voters in Washington State passed I-1433 in 2016 that set the highest statewide minimum wage in the country, and that pegged the rate to adjust for annual inflation. The current statewide minimum wage for 2023 in Washington State is $15.74, and 

WHEREAS, Tukwila voters in 2022 passed an increase to their city minimum wage laws with just under 83% of voters in support, and

WHEREAS, now the minimum wages higher than the statewide minimum are in Seattle ($18.69), SeaTac ($19.06), and Tukwila ($18.99), and meanwhile surrounding communities like Burien and unincorporated areas of King County like Skyway and White Center require workers to be paid just the statewide minimum, and

WHEREAS, efforts to pass a higher minimum wage have recently been introduced in surrounding communities like Burien and unincorporated King County, and

WHEREAS, this labor council has passed resolutions in the past to support each of these efforts.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT MLK Labor endorse efforts and advocate raising the minimum wage in Burien and unincorporated King County, consistent with the following principles:

  1. The proposed policy does not provide any kind of carve out to justify a lower minimum, such as a credit for tips or health care coverage
  2. The proposed policy would ensure the ordinances can be properly enforced. This could be at the local level through a local labor standards enforcement body, by the County Prosecutor or, at the very minimum, via private right of action;
  3. The policy would preclude franchisers who, based on employee-count alone, would otherwise be considered a small business in determining their wage tier

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that MLK Labor will oppose said efforts where they violate these principles and will further oppose efforts that seek to undermine existing labor standards in any of these jurisdictions in the future.

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