iPhone 3

Your phone was probably made in a sweatshop

Like any devout follower, Mike Daisey was reluctant to ask questions about his favorite religion—the church of Apple. A self-professed gadget freak and number one fan of the ubiquitous technology company, Daisey’s reluctance is probably familiar to all of us. In his most recent monologue on Chicago Public Media’s popular series, This American Life, Daisy […]
Jan 13, 2012

Why I Organize: Filipina migrants in Seattle fight for rights in Northwest and back home.

For decades, people have been the Philippines’ largest export. Women make up 70% of the more than 4,000 nationals who leave the country each day. Most of them come to the US, but there are Filipinas all over the world. Both in the US and abroad, they often find themselves in jobs where they’re vulnerable to violence […]
Mar 9, 2012

Gut-punching Globalization Trilogy comes to Northwest Film Forum

I’m looking forward to seeing Whore’s Glory, the third film in Michael Glawogger’s, Globalization Trilogy, with a mix of anticipation and dread. The Austrian director’s trilogy spans the globe to give an intimate look at the life and work of people on the economic margins. The results are not always easy to watch. Glawogger’s website […]
Apr 23, 2012
Labor march Seattle

May Day gets rowdy, but immigration activists stay on message

More than 80 countries officially celebrated International Worker’s Day yesterday. Demonstrators from Chile to the Philippines, Spain to Tunisia called for everything from higher wages to the overthrow of corrupt leaders. The May Day holiday is not officially observed in the US. Instead, we have Labor Day, which started in the late 1800’s as a […]
May 2, 2012
Farm laborers harvest asparagus in Eastern Washington. Many of the low-wage migrant laborers that harvest our fruits and vegetables depend on food stamp programs that are on the chopping block in the proposed version of the Farm Bill (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Why the food fight over the Farm Bill matters to you

The Farm Bill is a classic democratic-process-headache: a 1,000 page piece of legislation that takes on all things food and agriculture related. It covers everything from food stamps to farmland conservation to nutrition programs to farm subsidies. Past versions have mostly benefited big farmers of soy, corn, and other commodity crops, along with large corporations […]
Jul 18, 2012

‘Sick of stuff’ Seattleites seek more meaningful holiday gifts (like goats)

On a Sunday afternoon a week before Christmas, Northgate Mall is a mosh pit of shoppers. It’s a familiar scene. Our cheerful, if harried, consumerism is as much a holiday ritual as any traditional meal or family gathering. But by the Victoria’s Secret, between the kiosk advertising the new Fiat and the one selling massaging […]
Dec 21, 2012

Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US, one water bottle at a time

It was the middle of that dark week before the New Year. Christmas cookies were growing stale in tins on the counter and emails had begun to pile up again. But the news of a plea for help from a forced labor camp in China cut through my holiday hangover. The Oregonian reported that a Portland […]
Jan 4, 2013

Can the fair trade movement deliver guilt-free chocoholism?

When you’re selling a global product sourced in poor countries, there’s no simple path to a clear conscience. 
Mar 1, 2013

Why more women in leadership will mean fewer women in poverty

International Women’s Day is holiday that usually gets ignored. So it makes a great moment to reflect on a widely ignored issue: women in poverty.  
Mar 7, 2013

Bangladesh garment workers demand US retailers “End Death Traps”

Fires at garment factories in Bangladesh have killed more than 600 workers since 2006. This week a survivor visited Seattle to confront consumers with the human cost of cheap apparel. 
Apr 26, 2013

“Supersize my pay!” Fast food workers on strike around Seattle

If you tried to make a run for the border last night in Ballard you might have been disappointed.
May 30, 2013
Steve Sakuma, who handed over the reigns as CEO of Sakuma Brothers to Danny Weeden last year. (File photo by Ashley Stewart)

Sakuma speaks up: Farm labor pariah defends his family’s business

How an immigrant-owned family farm became a flashpoint for labor activism.
Feb 10, 2014
Author Seth Holmes (center) with Triqui family in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Who’s picking your produce?

Washington native Seth Holmes spent five years conducting research farm workers in Skagit Valley berry farms and found a disturbing pattern of "normalized" abuse.
Feb 24, 2014

Cesar Chavez biopic brings farm worker struggle to the screen

Expectations are both high and low for tonight’s release of “Cesar Chavez.” Some are thrilled to see the story finally told on the screen. But others are worried that the film is just the latest example of Hollywood pandering to a fast-growing population of Latino moviegoers.
Mar 27, 2014
City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks at a March 15th rally for a $15 minimum wage. (Photo by Shannon Kringen)

Is the fight for a $15 minimum wage a women’s issue?

I never considered the Fight for 15 to be a “woman’s issue.” Then just days before International Women’s Day and a full week before the National Fight for 15 day of action earlier this month, I found myself at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in the presence of a diverse group of women activists that made me think […]
Mar 29, 2014
Fast food workers demonstrate outside the Capitol Hill IHOP. (Photo courtesy Working Washington)

Seattle fast food workers join global strike day

Seattle fast food workers and activist joined forces with a national and global movement today, going on strike to demand better pay. The global day of protest against low wages was held in 33 countries around the globe and in more than 150 U.S. cities. “We think it’s fantastic. Workers internationally are being hit hardest […]
May 15, 2014
Walmart employees in Brazil demonstrate in support of Bangladeshi workers killed in a collapse at a factory making apparel for the retail giant. (Photo courtesy Uni Global Alliance at Walmart)

As Walmart grows globally, so does worker resistance

Did you know that Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, with more than 10,000 stores in dozens of countries, and the third largest employer in the world overall (behind only the U.S. Department of Defense and The Chinese Army)?
May 29, 2014
(Photo by Deric Gruen)

The Bristol Local Pound: Inspiration for the Sea-Town Dollar?

Other cities are experimenting with local currencies. Would it work in Seattle?
Jun 16, 2014
Sakuma Bros. Farms entrance. (Photo by Ashley Stewart)

Farm workers get a big payout, but state labor protections still failing

A local berry farm is paying out close to a million dollars to workers it abused last year. But is Washington's complaint-based system for regulating farm labor really helping?
Jun 25, 2014
From left to right, Dan Berger, Mark Cook, J.M. Wong, and Jaz S. at Berger's recent book launch in Hillman City Collaboratory. (Photo by Christina Twu)

Afro-Asian solidarity in Seattle and across the Pacific

Between #ICan’tBreathe, #HandsUpDontShoot and #BlackLivesMatter, Twitter muscles have been in full flex around the globe these past several weeks.
Dec 23, 2014