By Nathan Jackson This year has been a banner year for Working Washington and working folks who are standing up for fairness, better pay and good jobs. So, without further ado, here are five of our favorite moments of 2012--news worthy events that we all were able to accomplish together.
Amazon gives ground to the 99%
This year we launched a series of actions at the largest online retailer in the world, Amazon. We took over product review pages, marched with Amazon warehouse workers and even crashed their annual stockholders meeting. The largest online retailer in the world under public pressure gave ground. Amazon left the 1% lobbying group, ALEC and even installed over $50 million dollars’ worth of air conditioning in their warehouses.
The 99% form a SuperPAC
The big corporations and the 1% have had their wishes granted by complacent politicians. We decided we've had enough. It was time that politicians and elected officials started listening to US. From neighborhoods ranging from Renton all the way up to Everett citizens formed local SuperPACs (People's Action Committees) and took to the streets to fight for issues we care about: good jobs, a tax system that makes the rich pay their fair share, and an economy that works for the rest of us.
We knocked on doors, made tons of phone calls, protested 1% candidates (even making presidential candidate Rmoney leave his own fundraiser early--tail between his legs). We registered new voters. We wrote letters and forged alliances with groups that have been ignored by our elected officials, but have just as much at stake. We reached out to churches, mosques and other congregations and often knocked on doors with faith leaders lending their voices.
Whether it was marching alongside community members at a Martin Luther King Junior parade, supporting striking Teamsters, or standing with Walmart workers who for the first time in the company's 50 year history walked off the job, we have shown our support for the community. We forged stronger ties with community allies like Puget Sound Sage, Washington CAN! and faith leaders pushing for the common good that we all value. We stand with folks fighting for social justice, good jobs, fairness and the rights to organize and collectively bargain.
Holding big corporations accountable
It didn't matter if it was Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Amazon, McDonalds, or Alaska Airlines. We stood in opposition to the big companies slipping out of paying their fair share, or turning a blind eye to the mistreatment of their workers. Port workers sick of sub-standard treatment stand up
There are thousands of poverty wage jobs at our airport and seaport. They are the fuelers, the baggage handlers, the ramp workers, taxi drivers, port truck drivers who help make our port so prosperous. This year workers took action to combat the low wages, unfair treatment, safety issues, and other issues they face.
Port truck drivers in an unprecedented move went on an unprecedented work stoppage forcing port shipping companies to finally recognize some of the safety and pay issues port truck drivers have been clamoring against.
Taxi drivers pulled over and put their cars in park over unfair wages and working conditions.
Airport workers have taken their message to their bosses, the bosses' bosses and to the streets. They've even put together a coloring book that explains their situation in simple terms--good for kids and bosses alike.
We’ve patted ourselves on the back enough, let’s get back to work.