Don’t be Fooled by Compa$$ion Seattle’s Cruel “Fix” for Homelessness

OWLS Meeting — Tuesday, July 27, 6:30pm

Compassion Seattle is pushing a Charter Amendment to “fix” Seattle’s homeless crisis — but it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If passed in November, their scheme would make encampment sweeps the norm but provide no new funding for housing. Come hear from House Our Neighbors, a grassroots coalition working to expose that scheme and win real solutions to Seattle’s epidemic of homelessness, like expanding low-cost housing. Join the discussion on this working class issue!

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June Events

OWLS Meeting – June 22, 630pm
What does union democracy look like? Why is democracy essential to labor’s survival? Is your union democratic? Seasoned labor activist and OPEIU member Annaliza Torres kicks off a lively discussion about what member-driven unions can achieve and how activists can press for a greater voice and vote on the job. Bring your own experiences and ideas!
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Juneteenth – June 19, 9am
A Car rally and motorcade leaving from the ILWU Local 19 Hall at 9am will wind its way to the Terminal 46 Main Truck Entrance at 10am. Speakers and music will commence at Terminal 46 from 10am to Noon. In the afternoon a curbside commemoration will honor the life of renowned Afro-Filipino Longshoreman and founding ILWU member Frank Jenkins.The gathering will take place at 1419 24th Ave. S., Seattle, at 2pm. The event is hosted by A. Philip Randolph Institute, Committee to Stop Police Terror and End Systemic Racism, ILWU rank-and-filers, and is endorsed by OWLS. See you there!

What Can Labor Learn from the Bessemer Amazon Union Vote?

Amazon is notorious for treating and paying its workers poorly. Yet unions are finding it hard to gain traction against the company’s aggressive union-busting tactics. What can labor do to overcome bosses like Bezos, and win?
Join OWLS in discussing these questions on Tuesday, April 27, 6:30PM.
Also: Reports on workplace struggles around Puget Sound. Bring news of yours!
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Picket Against White Supremacy! Counter-protest at Westlake Park

Ultra-right groups have called for Sunday, April 11, to be a national day of “White Lives Matter” rallies, including in Seattle at Westlake at 1pm. It is no accident that they are gathering to flaunt their racist ideology during the trial of George Floyd’s murderer, which is also a time of increased violence and misogyny against Asian Americans and the inhumane detention of refugee children at the border.
Together we can stop these bigots!
Bring signs, banners, noisemakers, and chants to shout out the racists and outright fascists.
Sunday, April 11, 11:30am
@ Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., Seattle
Sponsored by Stand Against White Supremacy Coalition

All Eyes on Bessemer: Ground Zero in the Fight for Workers’ Rights

OWLS Meeting:
Tuesday, March 23, 6:30pm

Warehouse workers at Amazon fulfilment centers confront brutal conditions and poverty pay. This reality has sparked a union drive in Bessamer, Alabama, led by Black women workers. The month-long vote will end on March 28. OWLS looks at the rich history of labor organizing in Bessamer, solidarity built between the civil rights and labor movements, and the current struggle to beat an anti-labor goliath that has kept  its U.S. shops union free – until now.

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Lessons from the History of “Open Shop” Laws

OWLS Meeting
Tuesday, February 23, 6:30pm

In honor of Black History Month, OWLS looks at the rise of anti-worker laws in the 1940s in response to the successful, anti-racist organizing of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). These laws first emerged in the U.S. South, as unions experienced rapid growth and Black workers played a leading role. Anti-worker forces countered the CIO with deceitfully-named “Right-to-Work” legislation, backed by wealthy industrialists who also opposed women’s suffrage, integration and child labor laws. Labor scholar Don Larson looks at this history and draws lessons for today’s battles against ultra-right groups like the Freedom Foundation.
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Root Out Racism at King County and Beyond!

February 19, 2021

Despite King County’s frequent proclamations of their support for Equity and Social Justice, the reality faced by many workers of color at the County is a far cry from the vision fought for by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Equity in hiring, discipline, promotion and training is not happening on the ground. Outright bigotry – a KKK-style noose placed next to a black figurine at Metro South Base, attacks on the Pride Flag at Metro Bellevue Base, and harassment of workers of color at Solid Waste and other departments – sparked protests led by OWLS and County workers last year. Yet management continues to brush problems under the rug and retaliate against those who speak up. The storming of the U.S. Capitol tells us what happens when those in power enable bigotry. It gets worse.

In 2020, backed by the collective voices of unions, community groups, and social justice activists, Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS) helped King County workers shine a spotlight on the ongoing racism and bigotry they endure on the job. As part of the campaign to Root out Racism at King County and Beyond! OWLS requested a meeting with County Executive Dow Constantine. Even after phone calls, letters and three rallies and speak-outs, Constantine still refused to meet or hear workers’ concerns.

These workers’ voices must not be silenced. OWLS will take the case for redress and action to the County CouncilChange is urgently needed at King County. As a first step please add your organization’s support by endorsing the campaign and its demands. To endorse, please email or call 206-819-2279.

In Solidarity,

Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS)

Juan graphic_______________________________________________

Root Out Racism at King County and Beyond!

To: Martin Luther King Jr. County Executive Dow Constantine, and County Council members

We, the undersigned, demand action NOW to end the epidemic of racism throughout King County worksites.

  • Immediate action to stop racist threats, harassment, discrimination, and all forms of bigotry and retaliation at worksites. Make management accountable and transparent.
  • Establish an independent Office of Equal Rights for complaints; Restitution for all who have filed complaints on racism without satisfactory resolution.
  • Affirmative Action in County hiring, training, promotion. End nepotism.
  • Stop lay-offs, privatization, and service cuts by taxing King County’s super wealth. Create public works and jobs for housing, healthcare, environmental clean-up, and other human services.
  • Stop union-busting, honor workers’ rights.
  • No safety, no work! Healthy worksites for all workers.


Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity 0 206-819-2279 0

PO Box 94614, Seattle, WA 98124




OWLS Special Meeting: Racial Justice – It’s a Labor Issue!

Juan graphicTuesday, January 26, 6:30pm
In this special meeting to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., a multiracial panel of public-sector unionists examines the history and current struggles of Black, Indigenous and other workers of color in fighting systemic racism, while also demanding good jobs, justice for all workers, and expanded public services. Panelists also report on an exciting campaign initiated by OWLS, to Root Out Racism in the County named for the civil rights leader.
Speakers: Annaliza Torres, Filipina socialist feminist and member of OPEIU 8;
James Pratt, Anti-racist activist and one of the few Black Mechanics at King County Metro;
Adam Arriaga, Latino militant in ATU 587 and member of OWLS Steering Committee
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