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Quality Jobs at the Port of Seattle

Supporting Quality Jobs to Strengthen Our Middle Class

As part of its primary mission, the Port of Seattle serves as an economic development agency, generating quality, family-wage jobs and economic growth for King County. The agency has authority over the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), ensuring safe and secure operations of the facility and providing a pleasant and consistent traveling experience for those who visit the airport. 
In early 2014, the Port of Seattle Commission began a public process to learn how other airports are addressing issues of wage and compensation, how those issues contribute to maintaining a stable, well-trained workforce which is important to enhancing the safe and secure operations of the airport, and to solicit feedback about how Seattle-Tacoma International Airport could effectively and legally address issues of wage inequality for aeronautical service and concessions employees. The Commission established a goal of taking initial policy action in June 2014.
Through the Quality Jobs Initiative, the port is developing a policy framework that:
  • reduces employee turnover in key aeronautical support positions, supporting safe, secure operations throughout the facility;

  • is a targeted solution which specifically addresses the current employment environment at Sea-Tac Airport;

  • offers the enhanced training and advancement opportunities proven necessary to develop a workforce which supports economic growth throughout the region – not just at Sea-Tac Airport ; and

  • supports livable wages, health care, and other benefits for the more than 15,000 men and women who are employed by our tenants and concessionaires.

The Commission approved two components of the initiative - a minimum wage and compensation policy for aeronautical workers and an expanded workforce development program - in July 2014. Commissioners will consider action on compensation for concessions employees in conjunction with the Airport Dining and Retail Master Plan development later this year.

We invite testimony from all perspectives at our public hearings. We welcome input from the public on these issues. Please send comments to (All comments are subject to public disclosure per RCW 42.56.)



April 8, 2014
This hearing was dedicated to reviewing employment and wage information on the workforce at Sea-Tac Airport, as well as learning more about job quality and workforce development policies adopted by several other public airports around the country.

Presenters at the hearing included Bill Wong and Cathy Widener from San Francisco International Airport and Adine Forman from the Hospitality Training Academy in Los Angeles, as well as leaders from Sea-Tac Airport and the port’s Office of Social Responsibility.  
Click to download or view the:

February 11, 2014

The Commission held its initial hearing, Supporting Quality Jobs to Strengthen our Middle Class: Perspectives from Sea-Tac Airport at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11th at the Commission chambers at Pier 69. The hearing featured opening remarks from Commissioner Gregoire, followed by the following panels and panelists: Panel One – Airport Operations

    Latest Actions

    Per 6f of Resolution No. 3694, Rules and Regulations will not take effect on January 1, 2015. “The Rules and Regulations must take effect on the later date of either (i) January 1, 2015, or (ii) 45 calendar days after the Washington Supreme Court issues a final judicial determination in BF Foods LLC v. City of SeaTac, No. 13-2-25352, 2013 WL 6851515
    (Wash.Super Dec. 27, 2013)."

    For January 1 to have been the later date, the decision would have had to been issued by November 17, 2014. As of the date of this posting, the final determination as not been delivered.

    Updated Section 10, Implementation of Port Commission directive in Resolution No. 3694

    Adopted Motion Regarding Quality Jobs, Service and Employment Continuity Assurances for the Airport Dining and Retail Program

    Responses to Questions about Resolution 3694

    Formal notification of the intent to publish rules: 

    Letter from Managing Director, Aviation

    Resolution 3694