Condotta says Sea-Tac airport bill is the ‘Permanent Employment Act’
House Bill 1832 would set a dangerous precedent for guaranteed employment contracts
The Washington State House of Representatives passed a bill late Wednesday that would protect workers at Sea-Tac International Airport from losing their jobs when new contractors take over. New contractors who provide services within the airport would be required to retain employees for 90 days and if the performance of employees is satisfactory, the new contractor would be required to keep them on the job.
“This is the 'Permanent Employment Act,'” said Rep. Cary Condotta, ranking member on the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee. “I have never seen anything quite like it and it sets a very unusual precedence. Any new contractor coming in and taking over the business or operations of another contractor would be required to retain these people even if they change the nature of work as long as it is considered somewhat similar to what the previous work entailed.”
According to Democrats, House Bill 1832 would help prevent labor strikes and provide the airport workforce some stability.
“I am sure these employees work very hard and they are good people. However, contractors should have some flexibility about who they hire and who they feel will do the best work for them. We talk about stability, but this certainly does not provide any stability for employers,” said Condotta, R-East Wenatchee. “We are now telling them who they have to hire and for how long. This is prime example of state government telling the private sector what they can and cannot do with their businesses.”
Concerns were also raised on the House floor about smaller companies being able to comply with the bill's requirements and employees being locked into their employment positions.
“Airport employees covered under this legislation could have little desire to seek other employment opportunities with this type of job security. This also prevents new opportunities from opening up for those interested in entering the workforce at the airport,” said Condotta.
The bill passed mainly along party lines, 52-44, with four Democrats voting with Republicans against the measure.
It is now headed to the Senate for consideration.
Contact: Kurt Hammond, Public Information Officer, (360) 786-7794
###Washington State House Republican Communications