The following is from UNITE HERE Local 8, which is urging all union members, community supporters and LGBTQ individuals to sign this petition to Space Needle management urging that they fly the Pride Flag and settle a fair contract with their workers.
(May 23, 2013) — Seattle is known as a progressive, culturally rich Northwest city and the Space Needle, the symbol of our community, should represent these values. We have the second largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the country, as well as a rich history of immigrant cultures from around the world. LGBTQ individuals have enjoyed civil rights in Seattle since the 1970s and in 2012, Washington residents voted to pass the Marriage Equality Act. It is time that the symbol of Seattle reflects the values of its citizens by flying the Rainbow Flag yearly during Pride month, and show fairness to the folks working underneath the flag by committing to a fair union contract that upholds their human dignity in all its forms.
The Space Needle Corporation flew the flag in 2010. In 2011, they flew the flag after requiring the LGBTQ community to raise $50,000 for four LGBTQ organizations. In 2012, during the drive for marriage equality, the Space Needle refused to fly the Rainbow Flag.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and immigrant individuals make up a significant percentage of the hospitality industry workforce in the greater Seattle area. Workers at the Space Needle have gone for two years without a contract and are currently seeking guarantees for fair working conditions, including living wages, health care benefits, and job security. Our communities and members often patronize the Space Needle and surrounding businesses at the Seattle Center. Supporting the service employees at the Space Needle, a significant portion being from the LGBTQ and immigrant communities, will raise the bar for all workers in the Seattle hospitality industry.
The Pride flag stands for justice and human dignity for LGBTQ individuals (both immigrant and non-immigrant). The workers underneath the flag deserve justice and a fair contract. Flying the flag and settling a fair contract CAN happen by the owners of the Space Needle. The Rainbow flag, if flown on top of the Space Needle, will represent pride, justice and human dignity when justice for the employees underneath the flag is also granted.
Ten LGBTQ organizations banded together urging the Space Needle Corporation to fly the Rainbow flag, annually, during the month of Pride and to settle a fair contract. The Seattle LGBT Commission and LGBTQ Allyship met with Ron Sevart, CEO, and Jeff Wright, owner, asking them to support the two requests, but the Space Needle remained non-committal. Currently, the LGBTQ and immigrant rights communities have come together in collaboration to urge the Space Needle to do the right thing.
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — LGBTQ groups urge Space Needle to settle contract (April 26, 2013)