Posted 1 week ago

First class airport, poverty class wages — but not for long. Bags workers, who serve customers of Alaska Airlines, at Sea-Tac Airport just won a union for good pay, benefits, and respect!

Posted 1 week ago

BREAKING: Minimum wage repeal referendum will NOT qualify for the ballot

Latest numbers from King County Elections show that Forward Seattle’s referendum to repeal $15 cannot reach the necessary signature threshold and will not qualify for the ballot

King County Elections has now reviewed well over half of the referendum petitions submitted by Forward Seattle, and their fringe effort to repeal the minimum wage law has come up short. So far, 15,004 of Forward Seattle’s 18,928 petition signatures have been reviewed, and only 11,412 have been validated as legitimate signatures from actual voters — a 76% verification rate. At this point, Forward Seattle could not meet the minimum standard of 16,510 valid signatures even if every single one of the 3,924 remaining signatures were verified.

The numbers are clear: Forward Seattle’s minimum wage repeal will not qualify for the ballot. Our phased-in $15 minimum wage law will take effect as passed unanimously by the City Council and signed into law by the Mayor.

“Getting $15 will change my life because I wouldn’t feel like I’m in debt with everybody,” said Terran Lyons, a Seattle McDonald’s worker and a leader with Working Washington. “I could pay my bills on time and give my kids what they need. If my son loses his shoe when he’s playing outside, I won’t have to be worried about how I can buy him a new pair.”

Support for the $15 minimum wage law is so strong in Seattle that once word got out to the public that Forward Seattle was using misleading tactics to try and repeal the minimum wage, signature gathering ground to a halt — even moving in reverse as hundreds of people formally withdrew their signatures from the referendum in the final hours.

Seattle made history by taking on the crisis of income inequality with a $15 minimum wage will help ensure everyone can support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy. It will raise up Seattle’s 100,000 low-wage workers, providing a $3 billion boost to the economy over the next decade that will generate abundant opportunities for every business that is looking to bring in more customers.

The first raises under Seattle’s minimum wage law take effect April 1, 2015, and the first group of Seattle workers reaches $15/hour on January 1, 2017.

Summary from King County Elections:

Referendum No. 2 (Forward Seattle)
Number of signatures submitted 18,928
Number of signatures reviewed 15,004
Number of signatures verified 11,412

Posted 1 week ago

So who did Forward Seattle pay to gather those signatures anyway?

The financial disclosure form Forward Seattle filed with Seattle Ethics & Elections on 7/10/2014 lists one major expenditure: paid signature gathering. Given the numerous reports of misleading and even corrupt signature gathering practices they engaged in, it’s interesting to see what firm they’re using.

Turns out it’s “Citizen Solutions, Inc.”

Citizen Solutions is a large signature gathering company known for its work on Tim Eyman initiatives. And this may not be a surprise, but: they’ve been under an ethical cloud for some time.

Former State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson has exposed their less-than-savory track on employment and other issues.

The Stranger called a 2012 Citizen Solutions signature gathering scandal: “one of the most egregious campaign-disclosure violations since voters approved the Public Disclosure Act in 1972”.

And Citizen Solutions has even been called out by state elections officials, after they submitted thousands of invalid signatures — an apparent act of fraud that led a “furious” Secretary of State Kim Wyman to call for criminal action.

The spending disclosure to Seattle Ethics and Elections completes the circle: Forward Seattle is being funded by extreme right-wing conservatives, real estate interests, and corporate executives; and they’re using that money to fund corrupt signature gathering operations by an Eyman-friendly firm which had already been accused of fraud even before this latest round of disturbing practices.

All the more reason for elections officials to closely scrutinize every piece of paperwork they submitted to ensure they actually include valid signatures from real people.

Posted 2 weeks ago

URGENT VOTER ALERT – You have a chance to withdraw your signature from Forward Seattle’s minimum wage petition

Voters have recourse against misleading and corrupt signature gathering by the minimum wage repeal effort

One day to inform elections officials in writing you want to withdraw your signature from Forward Seattle’s misleading petition

Voters misled by Forward Seattle’s corrupt signature gathering tactics into signing a minimum wage repeal referendum they did not support can actually withdraw their signatures from the minimum wage petition. Signatures must be withdrawn in writing, and they have to be submitted before the close of business tomorrow (Thursday).

To repeat: you can withdraw your signature from the minimum wage petition, but all requests must be made in writing and received on THURSDAY, JULY 10th.

We have received numerous reports of misleading and even corrupt signature gathering tactics, and we want to help make sure people have the opportunity to withdraw their signatures.

Here’s the letter you can submit (PDF):

Again, it must be submitted in writing, and has to happen before the close of business.

In order to expedite the process, copies of the letter are available at SEIU 775 in downtown Seattle. If you stop by the SEIU 775 office in downtown Seattle — 215 Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98104 — you can sign the letter to withdraw your signature and we will make sure it gets to the appropriate place. If you want to withdraw your signature, please stop by no later than 3:00 pm THURSDAY (i.e. tomorrow) so we can ensure they get to the right place on time and your signature is successfully withdrawn.

If you have any questions or to make arrangements outside business hours, you can also call Working Washington at 866-385-9509, and we’ll do what we can.

The signature count could be close, please take the time — this could make a big difference.

Posted 2 weeks ago

The biggest donor to Forward Seattle’s misleading effort to repeal the minimum wage

Rental car franchise owner & Mercer Island property developer Doris Cassan has given a total of $7500 to Forward Seattle’s repeal campaign:

  • $1500 on 6/20
  • $1000 on 6/27
  • $5000 on 7/3 (as CMC Investments, the company through which she owns Dollar Rent-a-Car outlets)

Remarkably, that’s the exact same amount she gave to John Boehner in 2010, and more than she gave to Mitt Romney in 2012 ($4750)  

Why is she such a big donor? Well, Cassan opposed $15 in SeaTac in part because:

“I see all types of consequences: frivolous lawsuits by unaccountable employees, taking away incentives offered by most employers to employees and promoting laziness and unaccountable behavior.”


Posted 3 weeks ago

VOTER ALERT: Forward Seattle is not telling the truth about their petition to repeal the $15 minimum wage.

Posted 3 weeks ago

We demand $15 in SeaTac!

4700 workers at the airport have lost nearly $15 Million in wages in the last year because Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle said “nope” to the $15 initiative fought for by airport workers and approved by the voters of SeaTac.

Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle sued and blocked $15. So airport workers, Seattle fast food workers, and community allies came to the airport with a message.

Airport workers worked too hard to get a living wage with job protections, paid  sick leave, and full time work. So as we made our way to the Port of Seattle meeting we brought with us a simple message: “SeaTac Voted, We Won, We Demand $15.”

Starting off the day Seattle fast food workers came down to SeaTac to talk about the $15 initiative at a union meeting of airport workers.

Brittany recently went out on strike at McDonald’s.

“I get why you all are out here fighting for $15,” she said. “I’m broke from the first of the month to the end of the month. That’s why I went out on strike for $15. We are out here in support. You all won $15 keep fighting to get it.”

Crystal has gone out on strike multiple times. She works at Domino’s and explained to the crowd why she came down to Sea-Tac Airport.

“People should be getting $15 an hour,” she said. “We won it in Seattle, you won it, let’s spread it all across the map!”

Kevin was on shift and saw us. He decided to walk over and say a few words. He works for Menzies.

“It’s simple,” he said. “We got out there and won $15 and we need it now. Let’s get it now!”

We then went on a “poverty tour” of the airport pointing out the large companies that have been making profits and deciding to pay their workers poverty wages.

We filled the room for the Port of Seattle meeting. They were announcing their own wage plan that is much less than what the airport workers fought for and what the voters approved. We had something to say about that.

Alex, who works for Airserv, gave public comment in front of the commissioners.

“We are here to say that we need $15 now,” he said into the microphone. “We work hard; we deserve it. We work for these big airlines and we can’t even afford a plane ticket.”

The Port Commissioners thanked the public commenters and then started going through their regular business about air conditioning or some such. We wanted to know what they planned to do about $15 for SeaTac.

So we asked them. They had no response.

Posted 1 month ago
Posted 1 month ago

The New York Times editorial board says “Seattle Leads the Way”.

Posted 1 month ago

Seattle is Right


By raising its minimum wage to $15, Seattle is leading a long-overdue movement toward a living wage. Most minimum wage workers aren’t teenagers these days. They’re major breadwinners who need a higher minimum wage in order to keep their families out of poverty.

Across America, the ranks of the…