Working Washington offers Motion to Intervene in SeaTac Civil Disobedience Case

With arraignment Thursday, argument before court of public opinion to charge Tilden and Alaska Air Group instead of defendants Bravo, Helmiere, and Sawant

Who: Airport worker Socrates Bravo, faith leader Rev. John Helmiere, and Councilmember Kshama Sawant; they will be joined by supporters with Working Washington

What: Face arraignment for engaging in civil disobedience at Alaska Airlines Headquarters in November 2014, and offer motion to intervene to replace defendants

When: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 1:00 pm

Where: SeaTac Municipal Court (located at SeaTac City Hall), 4800 S 188 St, SeaTac, WA 98188

on behalf of Sea-Tac airport workers,            
the entire SeaTac community, and                 
poverty-wage workers across the state           


ALASKA AIR GROUP,                  

d/b/a Alaska Airlines, and   
CEO Brad Tilden 

|   Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015
|   Time: 1:00 pm; Arraignment begins at 1:30 pm
|   Place: SeaTac Municipal Court
|    (4800 S 188th St, SeaTac)


With an arraignment set for Thursday, February 19, 2015, Working Washington hereby motions in the court of public opinion to intervene in the arraignment of airport worker Socrates Bravo, faith leader Rev. John Helmiere, and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, on the grounds their peaceful civil disobedience outside Alaska Airlines Headquarters on November 19, 2014 was an act of self defense in response to a far more grave ongoing robbery by Alaska Air Group and its CEO, Brad Tilden.


Socrates Bravo, Rev. John Helmiere, and Councilmember Kshama Sawant were arrested for engaging in peaceful civil disobedience outside Alaska Airlines corporate headquarters, motivated by the airline's actions to rob SeaTac of $15/hour.

  1. Socrates Bravo works for Menzies, a poverty-wage contractor that handles bags for Alaska Airlines: ”I was arrested because there is a difference between believing and knowing. I know airport workers like me have been robbed by Alaska Airlines, and I know that standing for respect and dignity is necessary. We cannot let companies such as Alaska Airlines take advantage of providing bad jobs.”
  2. Rev. John Helmiere is pastor of the Valley & Mountain Church: “As a pastor, I am inspired by the story that Jesus told about a poor woman who knocked at a corrupt judge's door for so long that she finally got a fair trial. These airport workers have been robbed by Alaska Airlines, and I was arrested with them to show that we will knock at the door of justice until they receive fair treatment and the wages they have earned.”
  3. Kshama Sawant is a Seattle City Councilmember: "Alaska Airlines should be on trial, not the workers who are fighting for their basic rights and for their families! Alaska Airlines is blocking a democratic decision by SeaTac voters, blatantly violating the law.  Workers are being paid poverty wages while Alaska hoards massive profits.”

Alaska Air Group has ample resources to ensure everyone who serves its customers is paid at least $15/hour, as specified in Proposition 1.

  1. Alaska Air Group is responsible for about half the flights at Sea-Tac Airport. The airport is located in the airline's actual hometown, the City of SeaTac.
  2. Alaska Air Group has announced record profits every single quarter for 6 consecutive quarters. Full-year profits for 2014 added up to a record $571 million, and the airline recently began paying a quarterly dividend to shareholders. 
  3. Growth prospects remain strong: the Port of Seattle is planning to invest nearly $1 billion in a huge expansion of Sea-Tac Airport.


Alaska Air Group and CEO Brad Tilden are responsible for robbing thousands of  SeaTac workers of $15/hour and robbing the community of a millions of dollars of stimulus.

  1. SeaTac Proposition 1, passed in November 2013, raised labor standards for employees of large travel & tourism employers in the City of SeaTac, including a $15 minimum wage. Proposition 1 was estimated to provided a $54 million economic boost to the region. 
  2. In mid-2014, Alaska Air Group filed suit to try and keep SeaTac Proposition 1 off the ballot.
  3. After the initiative qualified for the ballot despite their opposition, Alaska helped fund the campaign to try and defeat it in the November 2013 election.
  4. When SeaTac voters passed Proposition 1, Alaska filed suit to block it from taking effect at Sea-Tac Airport. 
  5. Alaska even joined an attempt by an airline industry group to block a lesser standard passed by the Port of Seattle from taking effect.
  6. Throughout this period, Brad Tilden has been CEO of Alaska Air Group, responsible for its decisions and public reputation.

The act of peaceful civil disobedience was effectively self defense against an ongoing robbery by Alaska Airlines.

  1. There is a long tradition of civil disobedience as a tool to highlight violations of moral standards. 
  2. The actions by Bravo, Helmiere, and Sawant fit squarely in this tradition.
  3. The robbery of SeaTac by Alaska Airlines and its CEO, Brad Tilden, is a far greater public concern in terms of scale, impact, and sheer dollar value.


Therefore, on behalf of thousands of poverty-wage workers at our airport and across the state, Working Washington hereby motions in the court of public opinion for charges to be dropped against Bravo, Helmiere, and Sawant, and instead be filed against Alaska Air Group & CEO Brad Tilden for their role in a multi-million dollar swindle of SeaTac workers and community. 


Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: