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Space Needle Photo Department Workers Picket

Workers organizing with UNITE HERE local 8 picketed at the Space Needle Saturday as they seek recognition

The following is from UNITE HERE local 8

SEATTLE, Wash. (May 13, 2024) — Workers in the Photography Department picketed Saturday May 11, 2:30 pm outside of the iconic Space Needle as they seek union recognition. A majority of workers in the department have delivered a petition asking management to voluntarily recognize their union. Management has thus far declined to do so, and workers have filed for an NLRB election which is scheduled for next week.

Workers in the photo department want to be able to negotiate a contract that treats them fairly, provides for their health and well-being, and allows them to keep up with the high cost of living in the Seattle area. 

“For a business that relies so heavily on its visual appeal, the photography team is an essential part of the experience,” said Space Needle Photo Lead Casey. “It is a slap in the face when we provide so much value to both the guests and the company, yet constantly struggle to pay groceries, rent, and gas, much less any kind of recreational expense. We deserve pay that allows us to keep up with rising costs and to have a life outside of work.” 

“On average, the Space Needle entertains 1.3 million guests annually,” said Space Needle Photographer Gerald. “We are exposed to thousands and thousands of people every week. It is crazy to think that after a pandemic and the volume of people that we interact with that we do not have dedicated sick pay.” 

Space Needle workers in food and beverage, valet, and elevator operators have been unionized for decades, and now, workers in the Photo Department want a union and a contract too. 

“My coworkers and I have had the benefit of being able to negotiate a contract for decades,” said Joan, Space Needle worker. “Our collective bargaining has helped make this a good job where we know we’ll be treated with fairness and respect. We work side by side with our colleagues in the Photo department, and they deserve the same benefits of being in a union.” 

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!