Seattle workers have won yet another milestone in the $15/hour struggle! Central Co-Op, a local not-for-profit organic grocery business, has agreed to pay all of its workers more than $15/hour, starting now:
After a sixty-day trial period, new employees will begin earning $15.36 an hour, up one dollar from the trial wage. Wages are tied to annual cost of living increases, and come with a suite of benefits, including full healthcare coverage.
I congratulate UFCW 21, the IWW, Central Co-Op’s management, and its Board for negotiating this agreement. Congratulations, especially, to the workers. This is an inspiring victory for grocery workers, locally and nationally.
Dan Arnett, general manager of the not-for-profit cooperative, said, “We believe working families need that income now. We can afford it and find ways to make it work for us. We think our people are worth it. We want to inspire change—systematic change. Particularly in a city that’s expensive, we can’t fall back on poverty wages.”
This represents a stark contrast to big business, the Chamber of Commerce, and their political representatives, who pushed for a seven to ten year of phase-in in the city $15 ordinance.
This victory, and all of those that we’ve won over last year, demonstrate the necessity for workers to organize to fight to win living wages, good-quality affordable housing, health care, and all the other components of a decent standard of living.