October 25, 2013 Print

SeaTac Unions Fail to Live Up to Employment Standards

If unions are for $15 an hour, full-time jobs on principle, why don’t they pay their own employees accordingly?

That is the question the Freedom Foundation investigates in a new report released today: “SeaTac Unions Fail to Live Up to Employment Standards.”

Among other requirements, Proposition 1 would establish a $15 minimum wage for certain transportation and hospitality employers in the City of SeaTac, and require them to favor full-time over part-time employment. The law does not apply to unions.

The report finds that the seven local labor unions which are the primary backers of Proposition 1 fail to provide many of their own employees with full-time, $15 an hour jobs, though they appear quite able to do so.

Download the your copy here.
SeaTac Unions Fail to Live Up to Employment Standards

Among the report’s findings:

  • 64% of workers employed by local unions earn less than the living wage for a single adult with two children.
  • 26% of local union employees earn less than a full-time $15 an hour minimum wage.
  • The average local union leader makes $114,851 per year, placing them in the top 10% of income earners,
  • All of the national union CEOs are in the top 5% of income earners.
  • Local unions are generating record revenue.

The findings suggest that instead of helping workers on principle, unions are more interested in passing Proposition 1 to bolster their organizing efforts. 

Maxford Nelsen, Labor Policy Analyst at the Freedom Foundation, released the following statement:

“Our report indicates that the same set of accusations which unions hurl against local businesses can be easily applied to unions themselves. If unions are for $15 an hour, full-time jobs on principle, shouldn’t they pay their own employees accordingly? Neither unions nor businesses should be subject to Proposition 1’s burdensome requirements. Even leading advocates of a higher minimum wage don’t support $15 an hour. But even though Proposition 1 would harm workers, businesses and the local community, unions are supporting the initiative out of their own self-interest.”

Go here to read more in our full report.

Max Nelsen can be reached for comment at (360) 956-3482.

Max will also speak at the Seattle Channel’s event, Seattle Speaks: Wage Worries, on Thursday, October 10, at 7 pm. He will be available for comment after the program. Go here to see the event details.


Maxford Nelsen

Labor Policy Analyst

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