Connect with us


Space Needle workers celebrate raises as contract talks continue

The following is from UNITE HERE Local 8:

15Mar18-space-needle_frontSEATTLE — Space Needle workers and their supporters on the Seattle City Council will rally Tuesday to announce a partial victory as workers win first raises in over three years, but continue to fight for job security. Tuesday’s rally will feature statements by Space Needle workers whose lives will change as a result of the much-needed raises and by Seattle City Councilmembers who recognize their continued need for job security protections.

TAKE A STAND — All supporters of Space Needle workers are invited to join the rally at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21 at the base of the Space Needle, Seattle Center, 400 Broad St.

After four years of fighting, workers at the Space Needle have won significant raises and back pay. Last Tuesday, the Space Needle Corporation declared impasse and implemented its latest bargaining proposal. The proposal includes immediate pay increases, retro pay going back to the expiration of the last union contract in 2011, and scheduled raises going forward. Workers will receive the raises in this Friday’s paycheck.

“I’ve been fighting for four years to be able to earn enough to afford to live in Seattle. With these raises, I will be able to move back into the city. My commute time will go from 2 hours to 25 minutes and I will have the ability to enjoy Seattle and not live life by a ferry schedule,” said elevator operator Michael Hall.

Though the Space Needle has long had authority from the union to implement stand-alone raises, management is instead using the pretense of impasse to save face and to couple the raises with other proposals that Space Needle workers have found to be unacceptable in bargaining.

The proposal that the Space Needle is unilaterally implementing does not address workers’ need for job security protections and imposes unprecedented barriers to communication between workers and union representatives.

“I am proud that we’ve won raises after over 1,100 days. After all the work my coworkers and I have done, these are finally good jobs again. But raises won’t do us any good if our jobs are subcontracted out and we return to poverty wages. We will continue our fight so these jobs will remain quality jobs at the symbol of Seattle not just now but for the next 50 years,” said Hall.

Following the declaration of impasse, the Space Needle Corporation is still legally obligated to bargain with Local 8, and workers will continue to fight for job security protections in the context of a new union contract.

unite-here-8-logoUNITE HERE Local 8 represents about 5,000 workers in the hospitality industries of Oregon & Washington State. Local 8 members work in hotels, restaurants, food service, and airport concessions. They include room cleaners, cooks, bartenders, bellmen, food and beverage servers, bussers, and dishwashers. Local 8′s parent union, UNITE HERE, represents hotel, food service, and gaming workers throughout the US and Canada.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!