After victory in SeaTac, $15 movement looks to Seattle for next steps forward
As King County officially certifies the landmark electoral victory for the $15 minimum wage in SeaTac today, fast food workers are already preparing the next big step forward for the $15 movement: a day-long, 8-hour march on December 5th that will trace the movement's path from our first big victory in SeaTac to our next destination — Seattle City Hall.
"Before our first strike six months ago, lots of people didn't think a $15 minimum wage was possible," said Jason Harvey, who works at the Ballard Burger King where he's paid $9.19 an hour. "But SeaTac shows that it's not just possible: $15 is necessary in order for us to survive." The victory for Proposition 1 in SeaTac means that on January 1st, more than 6000 workers in and around our airport — including the people who work at Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's there — will be paid $15 an hour. "If SeaTac can do it, so can Seattle," Harvey added.
Continuing unrest by low-wage workers has brought the $15 movement to the center of the political debate, and our region is leading the way forwards. Seattle mayor-elect Murray made a strong commitment during the campaign to move towards a $15 minimum wage, Councilmember-elect Sawant effectively turned her campaign into a referendum on a $15 minimum wage, and many other local elected officials have expressed support as well.
Now that the victory in SeaTac becomes official today, fast food workers and community supporters are ready to take the next steps to continue to move forward in our march to $15 and a better future for everyone.
Who: Poverty-wage workers who work in fast food, at the airport, and other industries, joined by faith leaders and other community supporters
What: Launch an all-day march for $15 and a better future, leaving from the site of our first big victory in SeaTac to our next destination: Seattle City Hall.
When & Where: Thursday, December 5th. - 8:30 am: Kickoff at SeaTac Hilton (where workers will be paid $15/hour next year), 17620 International Blvd, SeaTac
- 1:30 pm: Lunch gathering en route at Brighton Playfield, 6000 39th Ave S, Seattle
- 4:00 pm: Marchers joined by additional supporters at Hing Hay Park, 423 Maynard Ave S, Seattle for final stretch to City Hall
- 4:30 pm: Rally for $15 from SeaTac to Seattle at City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle
Candidates who expressed support for fast food workers and the $15 movement won several key Seattle elections:
- Mayor-elect Ed Murray vowed to push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, writing in his Economic Opportunity Agenda that "Seattle should not wait for state or federal action" to "move forward on achieving the goal of a $15/hour wage for large-scale industries like national big box and fast food brands."
- Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant said her victorious grassroots campaign was "as close as you can get to a referendum on a $15-an-hour minimum wage in Seattle."
- Councilmember Mike O'Brien co-hosted a council briefing on issues affecting low-wage workers, called on city government to take wage theft seriously, and helped striking fast food workers return to work without retaliation.
- Councilmember Nick Licata went so far as to use a campaign ad to encourage fast food workers to report wage theft.
Sparked by this summer's fast food strikes, Good Jobs Seattle is a growing movement which seeks to build a sustainable future for Seattle's economy from the middle out — by turning poverty-wage jobs in fast food and other industries into good jobs that offer opportunities for a better future and pay enough for workers to afford basic necessities like food, clothing and rent. Good Jobs Seattle is supported by organizations including Washington Community Action Network, Working Washington, OneAmerica, SEIU Healthcare 775NW and hundreds of workers and grassroots supporters.
Contact: Sage Wilson, Good Jobs Seattle: firstname.lastname@example.org