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.
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