Their mission is to build a powerful workers movement that can dramatically improve wages and working conditions, and change the local and national conversation about wealth, inequality, and the value of work.
Working Washington fast food strikers sparked the fight that won Seattle’s first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage. They successfully drove Amazon to sever ties with the right-wing lobby group ALEC and improve conditions in their sweatshop warehouses. They helped lead the winning campaign in SeaTac for a $15 living wage. And they made history once more when Working Washington baristas and fast food workers led the successful fight for secure scheduling in Seattle.
Seattle workers made history in June 2014, when City Council unanimously passed Mayor Murray’s plan for a $15 minimum wage, and the mayor signed the ordinance into law the next day. It came just a year after fast food workers with Working Washington first launched strikelines across Seattle, calling for $15 an hour and the right to organize.
Initially, the demand for $15 was seen as entirely unrealistic by essentially everyone. From workers going on strike to journalists covering the movement to progressive elected officials commenting on it, almost everyone felt that the number was not to be taken seriously.
But workers bold action sparked a movement, and the speed and scale of the shift was extraordinary. Less than six months after the first Seattle fast food strike, the $15 minimum wage was a regular topic of conversation in City Hall and, importantly, in workplaces across the region. And a year after the first strikes, Seattle passed the first citywide $15/hour minimum wage.
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