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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 7, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 23
Rally 'round the flag! - Activists urge Space Needle to fly Pride banner every year
Section One
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Rally 'round the flag! - Activists urge Space Needle to fly Pride banner every year

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Nearly two dozen LGBT, immigrant rights, and labor organizations have announced a '30 Days Till Pride' campaign to get the Space Needle to fly the Rainbow Flag this year and every year - and to settle its ongoing dispute with its workers.

COME OUT TUESDAY
The groups say they will launch weekly direct actions at the Needle, the first of which will be at noon on Tuesday, June 11. They have also launched an online petition at Change.org.

'This growing collaboration represents what the Pride Flag stands for - fairness, equality, and human dignity for all,' said UNITE HERE Local 8, the union that represents Space Needle employees. 'A significant percentage of LGBTQ and immigrant employees in the hospitality industry (which includes restaurants and hotels) lack access to affordable health care and living wages.'

Workers at the iconic Seattle landmark have gone for two years without a union contract and are currently seeking guarantees for fair working conditions, including living wages, health care benefits, and job security.

'I am really proud to work at the symbol of Seattle, but it has been hard to work under a labor dispute the last two years,' said Cisco Cole-Daum, a server at the SkyCity Restaurant at the top of the Needle. 'I also support the LGBT community and I want to see the Space Needle stand for equality and fairness for everyone.'

EMPLOYEES SUPPORT FLAG
Space Needle employees have come out in support of flying the Rainbow Flag during Pride by wearing rainbow buttons reading 'Fairness for Everyone' at work on May 23.

Groups that have taken up the Space Needle campaign include PrideFest, Entre Hermanos, Ingersoll Gender Center, Pride At Work, Puget Sound SAGE, Social Outreach Seattle, the Seattle LGBT Commission, The Seattle Lesbian, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Seattle Chapter, Washington Community Action Network, Trans Lives Matter, El Comite Pro Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social, Gender Justice League, Casa Latina, UNITE HERE Local 8, and LGBTQ Allyship.

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