we are Working WASHINGTON
Our mission is to build a powerful workers movement that can dramatically improve wages and working conditions, and change the local and national conversation about wealth, inequality, and the value of work.
Working Washington fast food strikers sparked the fight that won Seattle’s first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage. We successfully drove Amazon to sever ties with the right-wing lobby group ALEC and improve conditions in their sweatshop warehouses. We helped lead the winning campaign in SeaTac for a $15 living wage. And we made history once more when Working Washington baristas and fast food workers led the successful fight for secure scheduling in Seattle.
Our efforts continue as our organization grows in Yakima, South King County, and across the state — with your support.
Higher wages lift up workers, our communities, and the whole economy
In May 2013, hundreds of fast food workers with Working Washington launched strikelines across Seattle. Their demand for $15 an hour and the right to organize sparked a movement to strike poverty by raising wages.
Through a year of intensifying of marches, boycotts, strikes, and other mobilizations, worker voices dominated the public debate, making income inequality and the minimum wage into the central public issues of the day. Seattle made history when City Council unanimously passed the first-ever citywide $15 minimum wage, and the mayor signed it into law.
Now, it’s time to raise up Washington State’s minimum wage and right now there is an initiative that will do just that called I-1433. We support Initiative 1433 because when passed, it will raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 over the next four years and provide up to 7 days of paid sick & safe leave as a base level for every employee in Washington
We’re talking about a difference of $8,000 a year for full-time minimum wage workers and paid sick days for the 1 million workers in our state who don’t currently have them.
Everyone should be able to support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy. It just makes sense: more people with more money means more customers for more businesses.
Everyone should have the right to know when they’re going to work and how many hours they’re going to get, but regular, full-time jobs are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, it seems that either you don’t get enough hours to pay the bills, or you get stuck with a workload that never ends — and you might not know which one it’s going to be until the workweek has already gotten started.
You can’t make a budget if you can’t predict your paycheck because your hours change dramatically from one week to the next. You can’t build a better future when you don’t have the flexibility to go back to school, get a second job, or start your own business. And you can't live your life on a few days’ notice: insecure schedules mean it's almost impossible to make time to help your kids with their homework, participate in your community, or even just make an appointment.
Working Washington is changing the conversation about wealth, inequality, and the value of work
Seattle workers made history in June 2014, when City Council unanimously passed Mayor Murray’s plan for a $15 minimum wage, and the mayor signed the ordinance into law the next day.
Initially, the demand for $15 was seen as entirely unrealistic by essentially everyone. From workers going on strike to journalists covering the movement to progressive elected officials commenting on it, almost everyone felt that the number was not to be taken seriously.
The speed and scale of the shift was extraordinary: less than six months after the first Seattle fast food strike, the $15 minimum wage was a regular topic of conversation in City Hall and, importantly, in workplaces across the region. Perhaps because $15 was a demand big enough to match the scope of the economic crisis workers were experiencing, the fight for $15 grew a level of attention and support that looked more like a movement than a typical worker campaign.
Working Washington is a statewide workers organization that fights to raise wages, improve labor standards, and change the conversation about wealth, inequality, and the value of work. Billionaires aren't going to support workers organizing to take on income inequality, and the government isn't going to pay for it either. So it's up to you. Give today.
LET’S STAY IN TOUCH
Working Washington Leadership
As Executive Director of Working Washington, Sejal Parikh has played a central role in several groundbreaking campaigns to advance workers rights. Most recently, Sejal led the strategy, policy, and mobilization effort which won Seattle’s landmark secure scheduling law for baristas, food, and retail workers.
Previously, Sejal served as Working Washington’s fast food campaign director, in which role she was responsible for coordinating strategic mobilization, policy, and communications efforts from the first Seattle fast food strikes through the historic vote to pass the nation’s first citywide $15 minimum wage law. She has also led corporate accountability campaigns which helped a state tax loophole benefitting JP Morgan Chase, and pressured Amazon to dump ALEC and improve working conditions at its warehouses. Sejal was also closely involved with Working Washington’s landmark effort to organize workers and raise standards at Sea-Tac Airport.
Before joining Working Washington, Sejal developed policy that expanded health care access for homecare workers in Montana, and provided volunteer legislative support for a national cancer advocacy group.
Sejal has a J.D. and an M.S in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and, although she has lived in Seattle for several years, still cheers for her Wolverines.