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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

November 19, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Seattle City Councilwoman Sawant arrested at wage protest

Update at 10:10 p.m.: A Working Washington spokesman said the organization expects the four people arrested for investigation of disorderly conduct during a wage protest to be released Wednesday night.

Someone apparently posted bail for Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, spokesman Sage Wilson said.

Original post: Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant was arrested after she failed to disperse during a protest outside of Alaska Airlines headquarters in SeaTac Wednesday evening.

Sawant was one of four people arrested when they stayed in the middle of a street at a protest calling for a $15 minimum wage for all workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The other people arrested were a cargo handler, a former airport worker and a church reverend.

Sawant said before the protest started that it was her “obligation as a public servant” to exercise civil disobedience and risk arrest.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Alaska Airlines said it supports fair-wage jobs and voluntarily increased wages in April for more than 1,000 vendor employees.

The airline says it stands with Airlines for America, a trade organization that sued the Port of Seattle in federal court, saying it was unlawfully forcing airlines to comply with requirements that conflict with federal and state agreements.

“Alaska stands with the entire airline industry as Airlines for America (A4A), the industry’s trade group, challenges the legality of the Port wage mandate,” Alaska said in a statement. “The challenge focuses on the Port enacting policies in an area governed by federal and state laws and regulations.  Alaska’s pay increases will remain in place regardless of the outcome of this litigation.”

Comments | More in Business/Technology, General news, The Blotter | Topics: $15 minimum wage

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