A migrant worker steps out of his home next to a coal power plant in Beijing. (Photo from REUTERS / Damir Sagolj)

China on strike: Migrant workers who make our stuff speak up

Chinese labor organizers made a rare visit to Seattle this week to build support for striking migrant workers.
Mar 30, 2016
A small-scale shrimp peeling factory in Karachi, Pakistan where children, mostly girls, work in abusive, unsanitary conditions rather than attending school. (Video still by Alex Stonehill)

Would you rather eat shrimp peeled by slaves, or by robots?

Automation is changing the way seafood like shrimp is processed. But will it uplift the women who currently do that work, or just take their jobs?
Jan 21, 2016
The Washington Fair Trade Coalition and other labor groups demonstrated outside a visit by Secretary of State John Kerry at the Boeing plant in Renton. (Photo by Venice Buhain.)

Trans-Pacific Partnership deal reached; now needs Congressional approval

A deal was reached on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade treaty that critics have feared would erode local regulations.
Oct 6, 2015
Seattle City Hall. (Photo by City of Seattle via Flickr.)

Minority groups a focus in Seattle workers rights outreach grants

Women, workers of color, immigrant and refugee workers, LGBTQ workers, and youth are the most likely to experience labor standards violations.
Oct 1, 2015
Nith Lewis, who came to the U.S. in 1981 as a refugee from Lao explained what a good job looks like and jobs created under EB-5 are not.(Photo by Goorish Wibneh)

Hotel workers union denounces “$500,000 Green Card”

Critics of the EB-5 immigrant investor program say the program benefits wealthy investors, without delivering on well-paying U.S. jobs with benefits.
Aug 27, 2015
Alaska Airlines food workers demonstrate in May at the airline's corporate headquarters after the company fought the city of SeaTac's voter-approved $15 an hour minimum wage. (Photo by Alex Garland.)

Court ruling confirms $15 minimum wage for airport workers

Washington State's highest court rejected an argument by airport vendors that the airport was exempt from the city of SeaTac's voter-approved minimum wage.
Aug 20, 2015
Wedding dresses

Detained feminist activists in China spark worldwide support, new questions

The continued detainment of five young feminist activists in China more than three weeks later, leaves more questions to be answered.
Mar 30, 2015
AltBackAcrossLogo

Mexican immigration slows as ‘better life’ in US proves elusive

More and more Mexican migrants are giving up lives and jobs in the Northwest to go back across the border.
Mar 19, 2015
CMA CGM Tosca at T18 at the Port of Seattle, Photo by Don Wilson for the Port of Seattle.

Ports shut down to ships over the weekend as labor talks continue

Ports of Seattle and Tacoma among the west coast ports shut down to cargo vessels over the weekend, as contract negotiations continue between PMA and ILWU.
Feb 6, 2015
Workers in Seattle lay concrete during the West Emerson Overpass Repair Project in Magnolia. Photo by Seattle DOT.

Seattle unanimously passes Priority Hire law

The city's construction projects will have more workers from within Seattle city limits, after the city council passed a Priority Hire law on Tuesday.
Jan 20, 2015
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
The turnout at Highline College at an informational event earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of NWIRP)

Opportunities, challenges await immigrant parents eligible for Obama’s deferred action

“These work permits have an expiration date to them,” said Corona, who also heads the Washington Dream Act Coalition. “It's an obvious and clear thing for an employer who may start questioning the longevity of someone they are about to make an major investment in.”
Dec 17, 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
(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
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
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
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
Cesar Thumb

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
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
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