Some people find Seattle an awesome place. Others see it as damp, dank and dumb. These construction workers might tend to the latter. Crosscut.com reports:
On a bright Thursday afternoon near the Amazon Spheres, the sun had risen as high as the tension. Wearing bright orange and yellow vests and hard hats, a group of ironworkers shouted “No Head Tax,” interrupting Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s speech during an event she had planned with her party, Socialist Alternative.
The action was led by Chris McClain, Business Manager for the Iron Workers Local 86 and President of the Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council. A day earlier, Amazon — one of the union’s largest indirect employers — had announced it would pause construction on a downtown tower.
In a statement, Amazon tied its threats to the Seattle City Council’s proposed tax on business with revenues over $20 million a year. The proposed tax, which would raise an estimated $75 million for new housing and homeless services, has been explicitly labeled as an “Amazon tax” by supporters.
“The head tax will jeopardize our jobs,” McClain said. “Hundreds of ironworkers and potentially 1,000 construction workers could lose their jobs. The building trades have not been brought into the conversation. We are not willing to trade our livelihoods to give homes to homeless people.”