Early-morning coffee strikelines hit Seattle as first-ever national low-wage workers strike expands to new locations and three-dozen cities, including Missoula, Oakland, and Los Angeles Call to "Strike Poverty - Raise Seattle" echoes across the country with similar calls for better pay and the right to organize Low-wage workers call to lift the economy with better pay of $15/hour and the right to organize
NEW COFFEE LOCATIONS: 6:00 am - Starbucks, 1125 4th Ave. 6:30 am - Specialty's Coffee - 1023 3rd Avenue 6:30 am - Top Pot Coffee - 720 Third Ave
The first-ever national strike of low-wage workers is already bigger than expected, as coffee workers launch early morning strikelines in downtown Seattle and fast food workers in more than three dozen cities from Missoula to Oakland to Los Angeles do the same.
Similar strikelines are also being launched by low-wage workers in more than four dozen cities across the country today, including Missoula, Oakland, and Los Angeles, responding to the call joined by Seattle fast food workers to "Turn off the fryers, take off your aprons, and walk out August 29th."
Expansion to coffee: The difficult economic circumstances of many low-wage baristas in Seattle were recently brought into sharp relief by the recent story of the Starbucks worker on food stamps who was fired for eating an expired sandwich from the garbage. Baristas from different chains throughout the industry face similar circumstances, as coffee is yet another primarily low-wage industry where most workers simply aren't paid enough to afford the basics. Despite the wealth of some in our region, 7 of the 10 fastest-growing jobs pay poverty wages.
Who: Baristas in Seattle and fast-food workers in Seattle, Missoula, Oakland, Los Angeles, and more then 3 dozen cities across the country.
What: Launch strikelines across the country calling for better pay and the right to organize without retaliation.
When & Where: Thursday, August 29th.
7:00 am - Westlake Park - morning shift workers gather before strikelines kick off. A brief rally will announce the number of cities joining the strike. (30+ are expected.) 8:30 am - Subway, 501 Seneca St, Seattle 10:30 am - Jimmy Johns - 1200 3rd Ave, Seattle 12:00 pm - Wendy's, 5315 15th Ave NW, Seattle 4:00 pm - Major citywide convergence of striking workers gathers at Plymouth Pillars Park (Pike St & Boren Ave) before heading out to dinner-shift strikelines at nearby fast food locations.
The August 29th national strike comes amidst an extraordinary upsurge of worker unrest which has moved low-wage worker issues to the center of public attention. From SeaTac to Tacoma to the Skagit Valley to the Seattle mayoral race, highly profitable fast food corporations and other big employers have come under increasing pressure as workers continue to raise the question of how we can build a sustainable economy when the fastest-growing jobs pay poverty wages.
About Good Jobs Seattle:
Sparked by the May 30th fast food strike, 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, at least one millionaire, and hundreds of workers and grassroots supporters.
In just a few months fast food workers in Seattle have sparked a fast-growing movement for good jobs:
- On May 30th, strikelines spread across Seattle as hundreds went on strike for better pay and the right to organize, united under a call to "Strike Poverty - Raise Seattle".
- On June 15th, mayoral candidates debated what city government could do to raise the economy by lifting up poverty-wage jobs before an audience of about 200 fast food, grocery store, hotel, home care, and other poverty-wage workers and their supporters.
- On July 11th, fast food workers briefed members of the Seattle city council about working conditions, including low pay, wage theft, and health & safety concerns.
- On August 1st, informational pickets & in-store teach-ins about criminal wage theft were held at fast food and coffee outlets across the city.
Contact: Sage Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org