Seattle councilmember backs carpenters’ strike

SEATTLE — As area construction workers get ready to enter their sixth day of a strike, Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant announces legislation to back their efforts.

“We will have the workers back,” Sawant said Wednesday morning at a Northwest Carpenters Union rally. The members are picketing for more money, paid parking and fully funded benefits.

While at the rally, Sawant announced three legislative proposals:

  • Bill to aid in wage theft investigation.
  • An ordinance that would require contractors to pay 100% of parking costs for Seattle construction workers.
  • Bill to restore the rights of workers to strike, effectively getting rid of project labor agreements.

Sawant’s involvement in the strike has not been widely accepted by the union. Last week, the union had Evelyn Schapiro, the principal officer for the Northwest Carpenters Union, saying in part:

“We appreciate all elected officials who stand with us during the strike, but Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant is going too far by interfering in the NW Carpenters Union’s democracy just to grab the limelight for her own political agenda.”

Schapiro did not provide any further comment to KIRO 7 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Sawant started an online solidarity community petition and is planning a solidarity rally this Saturday.