Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Will the Space Needle Respond?

The Church Council board, the mayor and the county executive were asked by employees of the Space Needle to help them deal with an employer who seems to want to decrease their pay and benefits. In response, the Council's Executive Committee wrote a July 28 letter to the Space Needle director, Dean Nelson. On August 15, we had still not received a reply. Here's the letter we wrote:
Dear Mr. Nelson,
On behalf of the 418 churches of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, we write to urge speedy progress in negotiations leading to a just and fair contract for your employees at the Space Needle.
As the gap between rich and poor grows ever wider in Seattle and King County, it is increasingly important that your employees earn sufficiently to support their families with good health benefits and with a voice on the job without undue restraint or interference by their employer. In addition to being a nationally-recognized landmark, the Space Needle is located at the Seattle Center, which is a vital public trust. Certainly, you have much to be proud of with your restaurant's listing among the top 50 nationally. At the same time, there is a concommitant responsibility to uphold standards that demonstrate a partnership between employer and employees to enhance not only productivity, but also job security, worker participation, and due process.
Specifically, provisions in your negotiations that recognize the unique situation that immigrants face as they settle into this country are paramount for their continued contribution and participation in society. Also, please restore the basic rights ofunion employees to progressive discipline and just cause. Honoring these provisions would certainly be signs of good faith and help the advance of the negotiations.
We intend to monitor closely the progress of negotiations. If we can be of assistance int he ongoing negotiations, please do not hestitate to contact us through our Social Justice Minister, Michael Ramos, at 206-525-1213.
Members of the Executive Committee
Church Council of Greater Seattle


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