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.]]>
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!]]>
How can you help?
Space Needle workers have been standing up for a fair contract for almost two years, demanding living wages, continued benefits, and job security – protection from being replaced by a low wage subcontractor.
In the last year, as workers and community supporters continued to stand up for a fair contract, the Space Needle has 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. In the meantime, workers continue to turn up the heat in their campaign for respect and a fair contract.
Faced with a determined union committee and workforce, the Space Needle elevated its anti-worker campaign to a new level this week, actively campaigning to urge workers to resign from the Union, going so far as to provide a prepared form for workers to sign. They continued their scare campaign by stating that one of the only actions left for workers to take is to go on strike, and that the company is prepared to replace striking workers.
Instead of intimidating workers, the Space Needle should use ther energy and resources to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract.
Thank you for your support!]]>
In my free time don’t be surprised to see me walking my dog through the city, enjoying the sun, when we have it, or cooking authentic Moroccan food. I like working for the Space Needle and having a union because having a stable job means that I can keep my freedom to continue to do these types of things.
I have always been the type of person who will stand up for the little guy. I like to protect and defend my family and now my co-workers are my family and they have stood up for me so I will have their backs too. The union has given me a voice and has shown me how to use it.
Mohamed, 4 years, Banquet Cook
To educate the public and a new Port Commissioner who will be appointed next month, more than one hundred people came together on January 28th to stand for a truly sustainable concessions program including good food, good jobs, and job security for airport workers.
Workers led a march through the airport and were joined by faith leaders, community groups, and unions representing other airport workers. The Port of Seattle heard our message: We need good food at the airport, but we also need respect and good jobs for our families.
Airport workers are excited about the opportunities this re-design of airport food service creates for improving the service and the quality of food we provide to the traveling public. Because we serve passengers every day, we have many ideas of how to make things better.
What’s next? A new Port Commissioner will be appointed in the next six weeks. Candidates will participate in a series of town hall meetings at the end of February. Stay tuned for details.]]>
You helped build power for better wages and continued benefits in all our agreements negotiated in 2012, including the Edgewater Hotel, Hilton SeaTac and Doubletree SeaTac, the Washington Athletic Club, the Hilton Seattle, the Red Lion Olympia, Best Wester Executive Inn, the Best Western Loyal Inn, the Hilton Portland, and HMS HOST at SeaTac Airport and Spokane Airport.
Housekeepers in all our hotels with new contracts also gained safer workloads, dropping one or more rooms per shift, depending on the number of checkouts.
Workers at the Seattle Hilton were able to breathe easier knowing their jobs were protected even after the sale of their hotel. Other properties that won successorship in 2012 include: Red Lion Olympia, Best Western Executive Inn, Best Western Loyal Inn, Hilton SeaTac, Doubletree Seatac, and Hilton Portland.
This year saw great victories for stadium workers as well. For the first time ever, the food service workers at Safeco Field will have access to health insurance. Workers at Safeco stood up to management, rallied, and encouraged community leaders to sign an email petition for their health insurance. The future also looks bright for stadium workers who will work at the proposed basketball arena in Seattle, with an agreement to organize by card check.
Workers at the non-union Hyatt at Olive 8 publicly demanded a fair process to organize, without interference from management. A few months after the campaign began, Hyatt gave raises of between $1 and $3 per hour to non-tipped workers.
Despite continuing resistance to providing a fair process for the workers at the Hyatt at Olive 8, the Hyatt Corporation agreed to this process (card check neutrality) for a proposed hotel at the Portland Convention Center.]]>
Yuan Ping Tang, who is a houseman at the Hyatt at Olive 8, spoke to the crowd about why he has taken the bold step of speaking out for a fair process to choose the union. He pays hundreds of dollars a month for family health insurance, has watched his coworkers get hurt on the job, and knows that when he and his coworkers stand up they will be treated with respect.
Local 8 member Bao Ling, from the SeaTac airport, gave an inspiring speech about what the Union has meant for her and her family and how important it is to organize new workers into our Union. She knows that hospitality workers across the region will do better on the job when more and more people organize. Local 8 members from the Space Needle, Westin, SeaTac airport, Seattle Hilton, and SeaTac Doubletree were also at the rally to support these brave Hyatt workers. We ended the event with a big delegation into the Olive 8 lobby to deliver our resolution to add “Someone Like Me” to Hyatt’s board of directors. Community allies led the conversation and we left the lobby with strong Union chants.
In demonstrations nationwide, Hyatt workers say “someone like me” on the board of directors will make Hyatt a better company for employees and shareholders alike. “We all have a shared stake in Hyatt’s success, but no one who cleans rooms like me has a real say at Hyatt,” says Cathy Youngblood, a housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood. “By choosing someone like me to be on the board, Hyatt could be a model for corporate America at a time when so many American workers feel left behind.”
Stay tuned for video footage of the rally in Seattle!]]>
Plus, for the first time ever, we took our message to the water! Worker justice ON A BOAT!
Together, we will continue to stand for the new union standard – living wages, continued benefits, respect, and job security. The Westin has it, the Hilton has it, even the Best Westerns in Seattle have it. The Edgewater workers deserve the same standard!
Stay tuned for upcoming actions at the Edgewater!]]>
WA Governor – Jay Inslee
WA Attorney General – Bob Ferguson
WA Secretary of State – Kathleen Drew
WA State Representative, 33rd District – Dave Upthegrove
WA State Representative, 34th – District Joe Fitzgibbon
WA State Senator, 11th District – Bob Hasegawa
WA Marriage Equality – Approve Referendum 74
For more information regarding races that Local 8 has not taken a position on, please check out endorsements by the Oregon Afl-Cio, the Washington State Labor Council, and the Martin Luther King County Labor Council.