by Nate Jackson Leonard Sims had a long career in the construction field. He put in the hours, worked overtime and did whatever job was asked of him. He specialized in laying concrete for a small contractor centered in South Seattle. He’s been part of the close knit community for most of his life.
Sims has a few contacts he gathered from his years of work and schooling who help him with jobs from time to time, but nothing solid. He’s part of the growing number of underemployed people.
He’s been out of good work for over a year.
So while he continues to look for steady work, he’s also getting involved and making a change by meeting with contractors and city officials. He’s helping push them to make fair local hiring a priority on public construction jobs in Seattle.
Ali Abokar is also getting involved with Working Washington to fight for good jobs. Abokar used to work at Sea-Tac Airport. He worked behind the scenes handling baggage. He worked a minimum wage job that had unpredictable hours that made it tough on his family.
He’s not alone. There are good jobs at Sea-Tac, but thousands of workers at our airport are stuck in jobs that treat them like baggage.
Abokar is doing something about it. Last month he joined dozens of other Working Washington supporters in DC to “Take Back the Capitol." He marched against corporate lobbyists and rallied for jobs with thousands of others from across the country. He also presented a letter to his Congressman, Adam Smith, which made the case that the publicly owned Sea-Tac Airport was not doing enough to provide good jobs and respect to the workers who make the airport work.
In the end, what workers like Sims and Abokar are asking for is simple enough: they’re just saying that people who are willing to work should be able to get good jobs that pay the bills and help them take care of their families. Isn’t that something everyone can believe in?