It could be a little harder than usual to get a cheap burger or a corporate coffee this Thursday: Good Jobs Seattle, a campaign by the union-backed organizing group Working Washington, is calling on low-wage workers across the city and country to join a one-day low-wage worker strike.
"Workers across the country are heeding this national call and joining the movement," trumpets today's press release. They're striking for higher wages—$15 an hour—and the right to organize without retaliation.
Previous calls to action—strike talk, wage talk, etc—has been focused on the fast food industry. For example, workers walked off the job and shut down restaurants in May, and more recently, they rallied against wage theft in front of a McDonald's (an act that led to the arrests of workers, not thieving employers).
National media has noticed Seattle's particularly robust efforts. And now, along with dozens of other cities, workers are thinking bigger. Thursday's one-day strike will include all low-wage workers—in Seattle, that's going to include baristas working at corporate chains. (Like, say, the Starbucks barista who told me he was fired last week for eating an expired sandwich.)
Today and tomorrow, local organizers are "making hundreds of phone calls to fellow low-wage workers and visiting every fast food outlet in the city to spread the word" that workers should walk out on Thursday, according to the press release.
Their plans are pretty ambitious: Striking workers are gathering downtown in Westlake Park at 7 a.m. Thursday morning, and will be converging again at 4 p.m. at Pike Street and Boren Avenue, with strike lines outside fast-food restaurants lasting all day and into the night. Will workers really "turn off the fryers, take off your aprons, and walk out"? Well, they've done it before.
For more specifics on why strikes like this matter, check out tomorrow's paper.