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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 27, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 04
Ed Murray racks up key union endorsements
Section One
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Ed Murray racks up key union endorsements

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

With more than nine months to go until the election, Ed Murray is racking up endorsements in his bid to be re-elected mayor of Seattle.

On January 25, Murray's campaign announced that he'd received early endorsements from nine key labor unions representing several economic sectors.

The unions endorsing Murray are as follows:

o SEIU 775, representing home care workers

o UNITE HERE 8, representing hotel and restaurant workers

o Seattle/King County Building & Construction Trades Council, representing 19 affiliated unions

o AFSCME Council 2, representing county and city employees

o Laborers 242, representing hod carriers and general laborers

o IBEW 77, representing electrical workers

o Professional and Technical Employees 17, the largest union representing City of Seattle workers

o Sheet Metal Workers 66

o IAM 751, representing aerospace machinists

In the 2013 election, many unions supported Murray's opponent, then-incumbent Mike McGinn, but since taking office in 2014, Murray has won over organized labor with an ambitious program of pro-worker legislation.

Less than six months into his first term, Murray signed a historic ordinance raising Seattle's minimum wage to $15 per hour. He also backed successful measures to offer paid sick leave to city employees and give secure scheduling to hourly workers.

'I am proud of our record [of] raising wages and providing basic protections for working people,' Murray said in a statement.

'We set the tone with [the] $15 minimum wage and have not slowed down our commitment to reducing income disparities, protecting basic rights, and investing in the future of our city and our families.'

In his statement, Murray promised to 'continue showing leadership in our shared progressive values. From expanding family and medical leave and securing the rights of immigrant families to addressing ongoing gender inequity, we have more work to do. I look forward to working with partners in labor and business to continue our national leadership and send a clear message that Seattle is committed to a healthy, inclusive, prosperous future for all.'

'Mayor Ed Murray has been a leader and champion for low-wage workers,' said David Rolf, President of SEIU 775. 'He stepped forward and made the $15 minimum wage a reality through principled negotiation and a focus on improving people's lives. He deserves our support.'

In November, Murray also backed I-124, a union-sponsored ballot measure to protect hotel workers from sexual harassment and unfair workloads.

'Mayor Murray has not only assured low-wage hourly workers receive a needed raise, he has helped expand protections for thousands of workers who make our food, clean hotel rooms, and do the work that is too often overlooked,' said Erik Van Rossum, president of UNITE HERE 8, which represents hospitality workers.

'We are proud to support the mayor and look forward to working with him in the coming years as we face national challenges and local opportunities.'

Murray also won the hearts of building trade unions with his successful backing of Sound Transit 3 and a renewal of Seattle's affordable housing levy, persuading voters to approve record investments in Seattle's roadways and housing stock, and creating thousands of construction jobs.

'For his entire career in the legislature and now City Hall, Mayor Murray has fought for critical investments in our roads, sidewalks, and quality of life,' said Monty Anderson, executive secretary of the Seattle/King County Building & Construction Trades Council.

'Improving safety and traffic flow means family-wage jobs and a direct benefit in our region's economy.'

So far, Murray has drawn only token opposition from Socialist Workers candidate Mary Martin and from Alex Tsimerman, known for his regular heckling at Seattle City Council meetings. Nevertheless, Murray has wasted no time accumulating campaign funds - more than $227,000 so far, according to disclosure reports.

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