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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 listing some of the speakers at this important conference in Seattle next weekend.

More Seattles Please
by Shamus Cooke
Labor Notes, April 16, 2014

Seattle’s Elite Begin Their Counter Attack
by Shamus Cooke
Common Dreams, April 17, 2014

$15/hour minimum wage drive ignited
by Michael Schreiber
Socialist Action, April 17, 2014

The $15 Movement Lays Down Its Trump Card: A Ballot Measure
by Anna Minard
The Stranger, April 16, 2014

Speakers Announced for April 26th Conference!