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The Stranger wrong to dismiss Persak for labor leadership

SEATTLE (July 14, 2017) — The following statement was released today by Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO:

The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly newspaper, just came out with its endorsements for political offices in King County and Seattle. As with all endorsing organizations, The Stranger’s “Election Control Board” has a set of values and a vision that underlie their endorsement process and their picks. Whether we understand these values or their vision is irrelevant, we don’t have to agree with them.

But what does matter is how candidates are characterized in that process.

The Stranger believes that only two candidates, Preeti Shridhar and John Persak, care enough about the Seattle Port Commissioner job “to do it well.” They go on to say, “As much as Persak knows his stuff, we don’t think the port commission needs another labor diehard.”

Wow, another “labor diehard.” There is so much to unpack there. But what really pisses me off is that that comment and that label in today’s right-wing corporate environment is not far off from what drives the Koch brothers, the Freedom Foundation, and most of corporate America who also think labor shouldn’t have a voice at the workplace or in society. Now I’ve got a real problem with The Stranger helping to normalize this point of view.

Wake up, Stranger.

There is no doubt that Preeti Shridhar has impressive credentials, but labor is endorsing John Persak for Port Commission Position 4 because he has shown great leadership over a couple of decades in his union, on port issues, worker and immigrant rights, as well as community and environmental issues. Please vote Persak for Port Commissioner.

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!