Minimum wage: Trouble?
With reports of the potential failure of Mayor Ed Murray's proposal for a $15 minimum wage, a Seattle City Council committee held a lengthy session to study the mayor's approach. Councilmember Sally Clark, who chairs the Committee on Minimum Wage and Income Inequality, sought to play down suggestions that the mayor's compromise is unraveling. Council's questions and exploration of changes to his suggested legislation are a normal part of the process. "This is what we get paid to do," Clark said. But, as Publicola reports, labor leaders are already troubled by the possibility of a two-tiered payment system where businesses get to pay lower wages to teenagers and some trainees. If that's going to happen, labor leaders want the council to compensate by introducing alternative, worker-friendly changes to the mayor's plan. During the meeting, Councilmember Kshama Sawant noted that Murray had added the training wage language without any recommendation from the advisory committee that helped him on the issue. Let the fun begin. — J.C.
Food fight at Sea-Tac
Workers who help prepare in-flight meals at Sea-Tac have been given the go-ahead by the state Supreme Court to sue their employer over dietary deceptions. For security reasons, Gate Gourmet prohibits its employees from bringing their own meals to work. Instead, it provides workers one “healthful meal” a day. The problem, claim the workers, is that meals don’t always comply with their religious and ethical dietary restrictions. For example, employees charge that "turkey" meatballs are secretly made of pork and beef and vegetarian dishes contain animal byproducts. Washington's High Court today overturned a lower-court dismissal of the case; the justices said that state anti-discrimination law “includes a duty to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious practices." — K.L.
787 batteries: More testing?
The National Transportation Safety Board today called for development of new tests to more thoroughly check the safety of the Boeing 787X Dreamliner's advanced lithium-ion batteries. The board also criticized the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to involve outside engineers in the development of the initial testing of the batteries, according to The New York Times. — J.C.
Mercer Island mail suspect takes the plunge
A fleeing suspect was treated for hypothermia after he jumped into Lake Washington early Thursday morning. Police were called to Clarice Apartments on Mercer Island at 2 a.m., where a suspicious duo (man and woman) was attempting to break into locked mail boxes, according to the Mercer Island Reporter. The caller had used his own car to prevent the couple from leaving the scene while officers were en route. The female suspect was immediately arrested but the man fled on foot. State troopers found him two hours later on the I-90 bridge. When they approached the suspect, he leapt into the chilly Lake Washington waters. He didn’t get very far, but it was 30 minutes before Seattle Harbor Patrol dragged him from the water. Both suspects will reportedly be booked on multiple felony charges after a search of their vehicle turned up bundles of stolen mail. — K.L.
Seattle's growth spurt
U.S. Census figures show the city of Seattle's population is growing faster than any other major city in the country, according to The Seattle Times' FYI Guy, Gene Balk. Austin, Texas held the highest single-year growth rate the last few years. Seattle took Boston’s place as the 21st most populous city nationally. — H.W.
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