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Nation’s next wage fight is on Seatac’s ballot

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SEATAC — For two decades, Chris Smith worked his way up from ferrying passengers in wheelchairs at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to fueling airplanes. But after years of breathing fuel fumes, going without sick days and making just over Washington’s minimum wage of $9.19, Smith could no longer make it work.

At 49, he quit, relying for now on part-time work with benefits to earn a living. “It was hard to even go home without making the house smell like a gas can had just spilled,” he said.

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