April 26 Conference in Seattle —
Building the Fight for Fifteen
by George Shriver, co-managing editor, Labor Standard
At the Labor Notes conference in Chicago the first weekend of April, Seattle’s socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant was present along with numerous supporters. Quite a few Labor Standard folks also attended—among them Ann Montague, socialist feminist, union activist in Oregon’s SEIU Local 503, and fighter for LGBT rights.
Ann Montague reported some interesting comments made by Kshama Sawant at a reception on Saturday April 5, during the Labor Notes conference.
Sawant said this was the first time she had left Seattle since winning election last November to the City Council. The responsibilities of her new position and the demands of the struggle to keep building the mass movement for the $15/hour minimum wage had pretty much kept her localized. But she was glad she had come to Chicago, she said, and emphasized the need to build a nationwide movement to win the Fight for Fifteen.
Now Sawant’s supporters and the organization “15Now” are holding a conference in Seattle next weekend, on the last Saturday of April, to focus national attention on this, the most advanced point in the struggle for the $15 demand.
Two articles linked below by Shamus Cooke, also a socialist activist and SEIU union leader in Portland, Oregon, Seattle’s nearby neighboring city, give a good picture of the growing nationwide movement for $15, as does the article by Michael Schreiber of Socialist Action. Likewise, the article linked below from Seattle’s alternative newsweekly The Stranger explains the complexities of the current situation in Seattle as the Fight for Fifteen moves toward a citywide referendum.
Finally, we link the announcement from the website 15now.org listing some of the speakers at this important conference in Seattle next weekend.