FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/13/2013
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmembers to host discussion of fast food workers’ issues
in wake of May 30 strikes
Brownbag event will feature workers and policy experts on conditions facing workers
and what industry trends could mean for Seattle
Seattle – The May 30th "Strike Poverty" day of action, which included hundreds of fast food workers and impacted dozens of restaurants across Seattle, raised questions and concerns about the job security and working conditions facing low-wage fast food workers in Seattle. City Councilmembers O’Brien and Licata will host a "brownbag" discussion to continue exploring the issues raised by striking fast food workers. Councilmembers will discuss the growth of poverty-wage jobs and hear from fast food workers and policy experts about a range of workplace issues, including illegally withholding wages or the denial of benefits owed to an employee, or "wage theft", health and safety concerns, and threats of retaliation by managers for union organizing.
"It often falls on local governments to help the working poor meet their basic needs. As an elected official, I have a responsibility to hear more about the issues these workers raised on May 30th. From subsidized housing to energy assistance to health care, these workers’ struggles impact all of us," said Councilmember Mike O’Brien.
"This will be an opportunity for me and my colleagues and to hear more from the workers who took a huge risk in walking off the job to speak out for better pay and working conditions in the fast food industry," Councilmember Nick Licata said.
The brownbag will be held on Thursday, July 11 from 12:00-1:30 in Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall (map). Council will invite workers to share their experiences and insights on working in the industry and the challenges they face. A local representative from the National Employment Law Project will discuss findings from a report on wage theft and other labor law violations many low-income workers regularly experience.
The public is welcome to join the conversation and there will be an opportunity for comments, questions and feedback on the presentations or by email in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org