THURSDAY: Domestic workers to kick-off campaign for citywide Bill of Rights

Key city councilmembers to attend as nannies and housecleaners launch Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance, kick-off campaign to raise standards in industry

Nannies, house cleaners and other domestic workers from across the city will gather Thursday evening to launch the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance. Joined by several key City Councilmembers, they’ll kick off their campaign for a citywide Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights which:

  • Ensures all domestic workers are covered by all our basic workers’ rights laws.
  • Guarantees written employment contracts for all domestic workers.
  • Establishes an official city commission which includes domestic workers and has the power to set legally-binding industry standards on wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Who: Nannies, housecleaners, cash paid homecare aides, and other members of the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance, joined by City Councilmembers Lorena González, Lisa Herbold, and Teresa Mosqueda.
 
What: Campaign kick-off for a Seattle Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights. Domestic workers will launch the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance, share their stories, and call for change. Several city councilmembers and a representative of the mayor’s office will attend to offer brief remarks.

Where: Auditorium at 719 3rd Avenue in downtown Seattle, between Cherry & Columbia.

When: 6:30 pm, Thursday, December 7, 2017. Contact Sage Wilson at Working Washington at sage@workingwa.org if you would like to arrange an interview in advance of Thursday evening.

Currently, thousands of nannies, house cleaners, cash paid home care aides, and other domestic workers in Seattle don’t get the full protections of our workers’ rights laws. Few have access to basic benefits like healthcare and retirement. Some types of domestic workers are specifically excluded from the laws that provide these rights and benefits, and for many others the rights spelled out in the law simply aren’t realities on the job. Seattle domestic workers are calling for a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights that will raise standards and address the inequities faced by a workforce that's mostly women and disproportionately people of color.

Thursday’s kick-off comes after months of organizing and outreach. Nannies raised these issues at several mayoral debates this summer, and as a candidate for office, Mayor Durkan repeatedly stated the need for a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights, and the importance of enforcing labor standards for all workers. Her campaign later issued a policy paper promising that a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights would be a top priority. In the week before the election, nannies and house cleaners leading the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance met with Mayor Durkan, and she signed on in commitment to work with them to pass a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights during her first year in office.

 

The Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance (SDWA) unites nannies, house cleaners, and other domestic workers across Seattle. Workers have established SDWA a project of Working Washington, with support from Casa Latina, SEIU 775, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

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Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: sage@workingwa.org

Working Washington is the voice for workers in our state. Working Washington fast food strikers sparked the fight that won Seattle’s first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage. Working Washington baristas and fast food workers led the successful campaign for secure scheduling in Seattle, and our members across the state helped drive forward Initiative 1433 to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick days. We successfully drove Amazon to sever ties with the right-wing lobby group ALEC and improve conditions in their sweatshop warehouses, and got Starbucks to address inequities in their corporate parental leave policy. And we made history once again with the landmark statewide paid family leave law passed earlier this year. For more information, including our press kit, visit workingWA.org.

What to expect when you’re expecting paid parental leave at a Starbucks shareholder meeting

Questions, controversy, and balloons could loom over Starbucks annual meeting

Starbucks shareholders will gather Wednesday morning for the company's annual shareholder meeting in part to mark the transition from outgoing CEO Howard Schultz to incoming CEO Kevin Johnson. Johnson begins in the new role on April 3rd.

Photo credit: Alex Garland

Photo credit: Alex Garland

Here’s 6 things to expect:

1) Controversy continues to build around Starbucks new parental leave policy, which would provide store employees dramatically less time with a new child than corporate employees would get.

2) Baristas & customers will be at the shareholder meeting to call on Starbucks to update their parental leave policy to apply equitably to all types of workers, all types of parents, and all types of families. They’ll carry green balloons reading “Congratulations, it’s unpaid!” as they reach out to shareholders about the importance of paid family leave.

3) Questions may be asked: Several baristas attending the meeting are also hoping to make use of the question & answer period to ask the gathered Starbucks executives to explain why they think the new children of baristas should get less time with their parents than new children of executives should get.

4) VP of Global Benefits: The shareholder meeting comes a day after two baristas delivered 80,000 petition signatures to corporate headquarters and then met with the VP of Global Benefits about the company’s paid parental leave policy. (Hi-res photos available.)

5) Meanwhile at City Hall: At the same time as the shareholder meeting gets underway at McCaw Hall, Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez will be releasing the outline of a potential proposal for how Seattle can best move forward on a citywide paid family leave policy for private sector employees if the State Legislature fails to act. Starbucks already does business in 70 countries and several states which have paid family leave laws.

6) Hear our voices: Several baristas have shared powerful stories about the importance of paid family leave on our website. 

"Did State Rep Matt Manweller just endorse slavery?" — 2000+ asking as Legislature convenes

Email controversy rages around State Rep. Manweller over his remarks on Civil War and minimum wage

As the State Legislature convenes today, an email controversy is raging around the House Republican Assistant Floor Leader, State Rep. Matt Manweller (R, 13th LD - Ellensburg).

After Manweller tweeted in early January that “$0 would be a perfect min wage,” a voter pointed out that $0/hour hasn't been allowed since the Civil War. This was his response:

Since that shocking comment went public just a day ago, more than 2,000 Working Washington supporters from the Ellensburg area and across the state have sent messages to Manweller asking him to explain what he possibly meant by that.

We await his answer.

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Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: sage@workingwa.org

RunForTheMoney.org from Working Washington reveals which candidates are benefitting from big-dollar investments by anti-worker groups — one of them called “Working Families”

A new analysis of political campaign spending in Washington reveals the same lobby groups and political funds that are opposing Initiative 1433 to raise the minimum wage have already invested a massive $1.8 million in State Legislative elections, much of it through “Independent Expenditure” funds with misleading names like “Community Progress”, “Good Government Leadership Council,” and even “Working Families” — which even in the world of politics is a startlingly cynical name for a group funded by minimum wage opponents.

Read More

HISTORY MADE: Seattle passes groundbreaking secure scheduling law by unanimous vote

With 9-0 vote to pass secure scheduling, Seattle City Council makes labor history

Coffee, food, and retail workers win new right to know when they’re going to work and how may hours they’re going to get

By a unanimous vote this afternoon, Seattle made labor history once again by passing secure scheduling — the first new labor standard to address weekly work schedules since overtime pay became law in the 1930s. This landmark victory in Seattle is only the beginning in the fight for balanced and flexible schedules in Washington State and across the country.

When Seattle workers with Working Washington won the nation’s first citywide $15/hour law in 2014, it set a new standard that everyone should receive a living wage for every hour they work. San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and California soon followed with $15 laws of their own. And in November, people across Washington state will vote on Initiative 1433, a ballot measure which will substantially raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50/hour and provide paid sick time. 

With today’s unanimous vote to pass secure scheduling, Seattle workers are once again breaking new ground by establishing a new principle: that everyone should know when they’re going to work and how many hours they’re going to get.

“Today is the just beginning for secure scheduling,” said Working Washington Executive Director Sejal Parikh. “Seattle workers made this happen, but the crisis of unpredictable and unstable work schedules doesn’t end at the city limits. In just the last few days we’ve seen the mayor of New York City announce plans to take on secure scheduling, and they’re surely only the first to follow. We look forward to seeing who’s next as a new wave sweeps across the nation in the footsteps of the fight for $15.”

The minimum wage hits $15/hour for the first group of Seattle workers on January 1, 2017. The secure scheduling ordinance takes effect six months later, on July 1, 2017.

For more details see our previous release or check out our secure scheduling press kit.

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