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Seattle’s Socialist Darling Takes On Boeing

The new radical city councilwoman-elect hasn't even been sworn in and she's already showing her true color - red.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

November 22, 2013 - 9:00 am

Kshama Sawant

Last week, I wrote about Seattle’s City Council election, in which Socialist Kshama Sawant was leading at the time. She eventually won.

When I posted that piece on Facebook the first time, I wrote an aside offering “apologies to my Seattle family and friends,” some of whose beliefs line up closely with those of Sawant. My aunt commented on the post, “No apologies necessary. I know how f’d up it is here. No other word to use really.” Looks like Sawant’s election was just the beginning.

One of Seattle’s largest industrial residents is Boeing. Recently, Boeing entered negotiations with IAM, the machinists’ union, over the company’s contract to build its 777X plane at the Puget Sound plant. Boeing requested a long-term contract with few opportunities for the union to strike, a deal the union rejected. As a result, Boeing may take its business elsewhere.

After the negotiations broke down, leftist activists took to the streets to express their displeasure. Among them was Councilwoman-elect Sawant.

On Monday, Seattle-area labor activists held a post-rejection rally in Seattle. Hundreds of activists were in attendance, including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Councilwoman-elect Kshama Sawant.

At Monday’s rally, according to KIROTV.com, Sawant told hundreds of union activists what they should do if Boeing does indeed build its 777X elsewhere:

“The workers should take over the factories, and shut down Boeing’s profit-making machine,” Sawant announced to a cheering crowd of union supporters in Seattle’s Westlake Park Monday night.

This week, Sawant became Seattle’s first elected Socialist council member. She ran on a platform of anti-capitalism, workers’ rights, and a $15 per-hour minimum wage for Seattle workers.

Sawant is calling for machinists to literally take-possession of the Everett airplane-building factory, if Boeing moves out. She calls that “democratic ownership.”

“The only response we can have if Boeing executives do not agree to keep the plant here is for the machinists to say the machines are here, the workers are here, we will do the job, we don’t need the executives. The executives don’t do the work, the machinists do,” she said.

Ms. Sawant told KIROTV.com that, once the factories are seized, the workers could retool them to produce mass transit buses.

That’s no joke. She wants labor unions to take a factory that Boeing may abandon and use it to make buses for mass transit. Why stop at buses? Why not light rail, Kshama?

If this behavior keeps up, we may never take Seattle seriously again.

All Chris Queen wanted to be growing up was a game show host, a weather man, or James Bond. But his writing talent won out. By day, Chris is a somewhat mild-mannered office manager for an IT managed services provider, but by night, he keeps his finger on the pulse of pop culture and writes about it. In addition to his Disney obsession (as evidenced by his posts on this website), Chris's interests include college sports -- especially his beloved Georgia Bulldogs -- and a wide variety of music. A native of Marietta, GA, Chris moved with his family as a child to nearby Covington, GA, where he still makes his home. He is an active charter member of Eastridge Community Church and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In addition to his work at PJ Media, Chris spent nearly a year as a contributor to NewsReal Blog. He has also written for Celebrations Magazine and two newspapers in Metro Atlanta. Check out his website, www.chrisqueen.net.

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Top Rated Comments   
Maybe it wasn't a mistake?

Ad Pushing For Boeing Jet Uses Airbus Plane In Picture.
The AP (11/22) reports that a Wednesday ad in the Seattle Times by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which calls on state lawmakers to pass a “transportation package” that could bring the Boeing 777X to Washington State, used a photo of an Airbus, instead of a Boeing, jet. Chamber spokesperson Terri Hiroshima said this was an “embarrassing, cringe-worthy error.”

And having a chamber of commerce spokesperson named Terri Hiroshima in a city where the B-29 was developed is just a hoot!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Her comment about making busses was particularly entertaining. They might as well start planning now for the day when Boeing moves everything offshore.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's a truly flaky place. I live for the day you can buy something off a store shelf in Alaska that has never seen Seattle. It has always been heavily union and had a powerful far left/communist element. Harry Bridges' Longshoremen were and remain a powerful force there and in most of the other Left Coast ports. For those of you not familiar with Bridges, he was last seen on the Kremlin balcony. One might question how Obama's family first came to Seattle and then to the other town Bridges ran, Honolulu.

In '04 or '05 I went to a conference in Seattle of the members of labor boards at all levels of government and of people who practiced before them. Alaska is far out of the mainstream of labor relations practice, especially in the public sector where we have largely unionized workforces with compelled dues and we have Republican governments much of the time. Even in Democrat administrations we have fairly adversarial relations between unions and employers. Most union states are deeply and almost irredeemably Blue and unions and Democrat governments work as co-conspirators against the taxpayers. Seattle and Washington generally fall into that category.

At the time of this conference I and Swartzenegger's guy in CA were the only Republican appointee-level heads of a state's labor relations function in the Country. Needless to say I didn't fit in real well but I'd been to enough "labor-management" conferences to know better than to try to start any sort of dialog with my peers or the presenters; a real employer's point of view is NOT welcome. But this set a whole new standard of partisanship and leftism bordering on open communism. One of the featured presentations was a joint show by the "political director" of SEIU and the VP for labor relations of a big California healthcare provider telling us all about how they had "partnered" to unionize the provider's facilities and work together to provide better healthcare for all Californians. That's just code for the union and the provider working together to raid the State and Federal treasury. The healthcare industry once was vehemently non- even anti-union, now they want to "partner" so they can use the union's political influence to get more government money. I didn't see it reaching beyond CA at the time, but that SEIU "partnership" thing was the seed of the Obamanation and Obamacare. Then we got what was for me the real highlight, the political director of the Machinists' Union. This guy could have stepped off the plane from Moscow in the Soviet Era and listening to him was like listening to Radio Moscow. The IAM is deeply insinuated into all of America's aerospace and defense industry and here they have a political director who is an open communist!

And the scary part is that the government is on the IAM and the Seattle socialists/communists' side. I hope nobody believes that Boeing voluntarily settled that IAM unfair labor practice over the South Carolina plant. A major part of their business is directly with the government in aerospace and defense. Their commercial aircraft production is subject to licensing and regulation by the government and their commercial aircraft customers are licensed and regulated by the government. All it takes is a phone call from somebody at FAA or NTSB along the lines of, "sure would be unfortunate if the new 787 had a safety problem that required grounding" and Boeing would do pretty much anything the government wanted. Fifty years ago if JFK's NLRB had handed down that ULP finding against Boeing, Boeing's response would have been, "see you in Hell or court" and they'd have been joined by the CofC, the NAM, the NFIB, all the other aircraft makers and all sorts of other business and industrial intervenors annd amici. When Comrade Obama's NLRB handed it down, all you got was crickets and Boeing meekly settled with the IAM. That tells you all you need to know.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (94)
All Comments   (94)
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35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Google is paying 75$/hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. On sunday I bought themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $5637 this month. its the best-job Ive ever had.It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out www.Buzz95.com
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The executives don’t do the work, the machinists do,” she said."

There will always be firms, and charities, and NGO's etc where the upper echelon do little or nothing and collect fat pay. But anyone who has worked in aerospace knows how hard everyone, from the machinists to the engineers to the execs work. You can't survive if you don't. She has no clue about what she speaks. Surprised? Me neither.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
FACT: Socialism NEVER works...save for reliably failing every time.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I firmly believe that leftists like Kshama Sawant are just hucksters. They don't really believe their own schtick, but they've found a product (their schtick) and a market (gullible working class) that allows Sawant and her ilk to become personally successful at the expense of the people they exploit.

The irony: Exploiting people by convincing them they are being exploited by others.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Her name, her face, hr cropped hair, her eyes...everything about her makes me puke. I thought San Francisco was stupid and trivial, and now I know there is someplace worse with even worse weather too.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Political correctness can put the Third World in charge of Seattle and reality can make another Detroit. Just bankrupt the place and chase off productivity and see why this fool left India in the first place. It's like spreading a plague. At best, this woman's just staying one step ahead of it all the while being a carrier.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The socialist councilwoman's website calls for trains, wind turbines, and solar panels too. Her website says this:

http://www.votesawant.org/boeing_stop_the_blackmailing

If Boeing actually goes ahead and carries out their threats to move production out of Washington, we should call it by its name - economic terrorism. They would devastate the lives of tens of thousands of workers, entire communities, and the economy of our state.

The only viable response to such a situation is to say the needs of the people of Washington – the same ones who have subsidized Boeing with tens of billions of tax payer handouts – come first. While Boeing CEO’s are free to leave, Boeing's assets - including the intellectual property developed by generations of dedicated engineers and machinists – would need to be taken into democratic public ownership.

Under democratic public control its factories could be rapidly re-tooled to produce wind turbines, solar panels, trains, busses and other vital goods which would create tens of thousands of new union jobs.

Defenders of the free market (i.e. the “right” of Boeing CEO’s to pillage its workers and society for their private gain) will claim that taking corporations into public ownership, even when done for the public good, infringes on the corporation's property rights.

But they conveniently forget that in 1987 the Legislature went into special session at Boeing's urging to pass a law uniquely designed to block billionaire T Boone Pickens from a hostile takeover. Lawmakers weren't afraid to mess with Pickens' rights in the free market on that occasion. Workers should reject the attempts of Democrats like Inslee and Reuben Carlyle to cave in to Boeing.

Working people have suffered decades of attacks on our living standards by Corporate America. Enough is enough. It is time to draw a line in the sand. Let’s unite to support the workers at Boeing and send a clear message to the CEO’s and the corporate politicians that we reject their blackmail!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
LeftistInSeattle pretending to be otherwise, you understand nothing about markets, freedom or economics 101. You solution is a recipe for tyranny and ruin. Don't take my word for it. Look ANYWHERE where state control of the means of production has been implemented per your prescription: Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, China under Mao, East Germany, the USSR, any Communist Bloc country. Tyranny and economic ruin. Same result every time. How is that you can be so blind to the ACTUAL RESULTS of your prescribed policies? Read the Road to Serfdom for a short education. Please.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Working people have suffered decades of attacks on our living standards by Corporate America."

I wonder how Ms. Sawant came up with this opinion? Let's see. 1870's to 1920's: Government intervention in banking and the free market is the least in history resulting in the greatest creation and expansion of wealth for all Americans in history. Yes there were spectacular failures but people who lost their fortunes, people who were robbed and swindled, soon recovered in a land of opportunity without massive taxation and government regulation the likes of which had never been seen in the world before. 1930's and 40's; dominated by government control and massive intervention into the banking system and the economy. Result: Great Depression and working class people forced into breadlines with no improvements until after WW2. 1950's,to 2008. Less government intervention. Everyone gradually improves their lot in life. Yes, spectacular failures but also spectacular successes. The free market is messy like that but everyone has hope for a better future. 2008 to present: Massive government intervention and control of banking and the economy. Result: Same old s#@t as the 1930s and 40s and no hope for a better future. Please note that the biggest liars and robbers of wealth and deniers of hope seems to always be the government. And it's funny that history shows the most improvement for American workers came when those corporate economic interests, those robber barons, were not massively regulated, taxed or controlled by government and it shows the least when government is in control. I guess that Ms Sawant learned her history of economic injustice by reading Das Kapital and Howard Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States.' Someone ought to loan her some books like Hayek's to help improve her education.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Those factories wouldn't last long, not if the management and engineers left or were thrown out. Without the brains running the place, it would go out of control and die in short order.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who's going to give the machinist the money to buy new tools and materials for those buses, ms. sawant, the Seattle tax payers? Hey those machinist could then negotiate for a cut in pay to $15 an hour and save Seattle.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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