Skip to main content

Here are some highlights (and link) of Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant's responses to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's recent $15 minimum wage proposal for Seattle's workers:

The fact that the City Council of a major city in the US will discuss in the coming weeks raising the minimum wage to 15 is a testament to how working people can push back against the status quo of poverty, inequality, and injustice. The movement, starting with fast food workers nationwide, and pushed forward by SeaTac and 15 Now, is forcing business and the political establishment to accept raising our wages.
I don’t support phasing-in for big business. McDonalds and Starbucks have no justification for keeping their workers in poverty for a day longer.

For workers in Seattle, 11 years is a very long time to wait for a decent wage. Every year of a phase in is another year of poverty for workers.

I do not support tip credit. Tip credit has proven itself to be a cause of poverty for tipped workers in the 43 states it exists in. It also overturns the 1988 democratic majority vote by WA state workers.

I do not see why businesses should get a healthcare credit. Business executives don’t have to make a choice between a decent wage and health care for their families. Why should workers have to make this false choice? Workers make this city run, and they deserve wages, tips, and healthcare.

The proposal I support is the proposal Labor and I brought to the IIAC and which was never voted on. Labor members and I had put forward a proposal that:

had no phase-in for big business. Big business has to pay 15 now
had a 3 year phase-in for small business and nonprofits
that had no tip credit and healthcare credit, and will be far more stronger

That proposal was not voted on, even though workers in Seattle overwhelmingly support it.

We still need a backup option should the city council fail to pass 15, which is why we need to keep up the pressure through signature collection.

Join the movement of 15 Now to gather signatures to let the City Council know we are watching.

Meanwhile, on the international end of things, the Guardian UK is warning of all out "class warfare" in Seattle over the brewing minimum wage fight:
Sawant’s campaign has resonated far beyond her city, giving her a degree of national recognition few local councillors ever enjoy. Her response on a Seattle cable channel to Barack Obama’s state of the nation address in January, in which she accused the president of betraying Americans mired in poverty , spread via the internet and reinforced her growing reputation among activists outside Seattle.

Branches of a pressure group she helped established in the wake of her election, 15 Now, have sprung up from New York and Florida to California to replicate the minimum wage campaign there.

And here in Washington State, another 15Now group has joined the ranks: 15Now Tacoma!

Originally posted to Seattle & Puget Sound Kos on Mon May 05, 2014 at 03:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by Hellraisers Journal, In Support of Labor and Unions, and 15NOW.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Click here for the mobile view of the site