(Seattle) UNITE HERE Local 8, the union representing hotel and food service workers, announced today they are endorsing Mayor Mike McGinn’s campaign for another four-year term as mayor of Seattle.
During his first term, Mayor McGinn played an instrumental role in passing Seattle’s groundbreaking paid sick days law. He also publicly supported Hyatt workers in their effort to organize for a better workplace free of employer intimidation, and championed the creation of good jobs for stadium workers with the return of the Seattle Supersonics.
“Mayor McGinn has proven to be an incredibly strong advocate for hospitality workers in Seattle,” said Erik Van Rossum, President of UNITE HERE Local 8. “From passing the nation’s third paid sick leave law to creating jobs and standing with workers, Mayor McGinn is the most progressive mayor in America.”
“Mayor McGinn has consistently supported good quality jobs and responsible economic growth,” continued Van Rossum. “Time and again when hotel housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers, servers and stadium concession workers need a strong voice at City Hall, Mayor McGinn is there.”
“I am excited to get the endorsement of some of the hardest working people in the city,” said Mayor McGinn. “I am proud to stand with them.”
PRESS RELEASE: As Space Needle Workers Gain Traction for a Fair Contract, Local Unions Picket in Solidarity
After months of inactivity, the Space Needle agrees to federal mediation with workers’ union to settle job security battle.
What: Informational picket and press conference in front of the Space Needle with labor and community leaders calling for a fair contract and job security for the nearly 200 workers at the Needle.
When: 12:15pm, Thursday March 14, 2013
Where: Space Needle, 400 Broad St. Seattle WA 98102
Who: Jeff Johnson, President of Washington State Labor Council. Tracey Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117; and Roberto Ramirez, Space Needle Server Assistant and union activist. More Space Needle workers available for interview.
Background: After months of inactivity, the Space Needle agrees to come back to the negotiation table with their workers’ union through federal mediation on March 28, 2013. The company had ramped up their anti-union campaign over the last two years when they fired and suspended union activists, denied overtime pay to its workers, created dangerous workloads for its kitchen staff, and racked up several Unfair Labor Practice charges pending with the federal government. Now workers are expected to continue the last leg of the fight and demand job security in their contract.
In the days leading up to the mediation, local Seattle labor leaders are rallying their support for the Space Needle workers as they prepare the next phase of their campaign. “It’s disappointing to see an iconic Seattle landmark like the Space Needle treat their workers unfairly, and we in the labor community will not stand for it,” says Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Union activists will show their strong support for Space Needle workers on a picket line thisThursday at 12:15pm.
“We’re not asking for the moon, all we’re asking for is some sense of job security. I don’t want to have to constantly worry that I might be fired or laid off just because my manager found somebody willing to work for less money. I’ve been part of the Space Needle family for the last six years, and it’s time for them to finally treat us like part of the family,” says Crystal Doll, a Sky City restaurant cook.
“The Space Needle is currently demanding that the City Council protect views of the Needle from South Lake Union,” notes Erik Van Rossum, President of UNITE HERE Local 8, the union representing nearly 200 Space Needle workers. “They want a sense of security from the city, and yet they have not given their workers any security.”
Van Rossum adds: “I would like to have a view of a Seattle landmark that respects Seattle workers.”
For more information, please visit our website at: http://www.unitehere8.org, or contact Jasmine Marwaha at 206-963-6458 or firstname.lastname@example.org
UNITE HERE Local 8 represents about 4,000 workers in the hospitality industries of Washington and Oregon State. Local 8 members work in hotels, restaurants, food service, and airport concessions. They include room cleaners, cooks, bartenders, bellmen, food and beverage servers, bussers, and dishwashers.
Hi! My name is Crystal and I love my Job. I have been a cook at Sky City Restaurant for almost six years. For those of you who don’t know it is the restaurant way at the tippy top of one of our nation’s most Iconic landmarks- The Space Needle.
From an early age I knew that I wanted to be a cook. There is something truly magical about a well cooked meal that brings people together and nurtures happiness and contentment. Sadly, in my first years of professional cooking I realized the reality of working in a kitchen. Restaurant work in general means a lot of sweat with little money and few breaks if any. It is a hard and thankless job for anyone to do but at the Space Needle things are better than that and no small part of it is because of the union.
For each and every person having a union means something different. For some it might mean that they have a voice and can work without the constant fear of unjust retaliation, for others it might mean affordable family medical or sick leave but for me it meant that my dreams of owning a home could come true. I don’t have to constantly worry that I might be fired or laid off just because my manager may not like me or that they found somebody who could work for less money.
After almost four years of searching and saving I bought a house. I never thought that it would be possible for a single female line cook to dream the American dream of becoming a home owner. My house may not be a mansion on a hill with a long driveway and elegant topiaries but it is mine. A little safe place all my own that I can escape to and it is because of my security in both my job and my union that I was ever brave enough to take the first step toward realizing a future that is not paycheck to paycheck.
Crystal, Sky City Cook- 6 years
Click Here to Sign the Petition to Support the brave Space Needle workers!