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It took a brilliant outing from Yusei Kikuchi, perhaps his best sinceand one swing of the bat from Taylor Trammell to provide the minimal amount offense required for the Seattle Mariners to pick up a win over the Houston Astros to avoid a four-game sweep, pick up a rare win at Minute Maid Park and snap a four-game losing streak. It was just the second time in the past 21 games in Houston that Seattle has found victory.

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But it sparked even larger protests by unionized construction workers fearful of job losses from the Amazon shutdown.

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Yet, for all the recent trials, Seattle shows no s of slowing down. Even in a place as ideologically motivated as Seattle, experts say, urban-scale worker protections can only do so much to fix economic challenges that are almost always regional, national or global in nature. In an era when most economic trends are making it harder for workers, Seattle is positioning itself as a municipal version of a labor union.

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Partly, this wave of regulation simply reflects the increasingly liberal tilt of many urban centers. That political reckoning may already be underway. The activists hoped to replicate that victory in Seattle, a city large enough to create national momentum. And they invariably aggravate the big employers that the cities often depend on for their prosperity.

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For activists, the lesson was clear. But Seattle had also become the vehicle for a resurgent labor movement—one that, energized by savvy populist strategies and progressive urban voters, was now flexing its muscles at the city level. With Republicans running the White House, Congress and a large majority of state governments, the task of refereeing local labor markets has devolved to the one jurisdiction where liberals still dominate: City Hall. The dispute had boiled over in May, after Amazon protested the tax by halting construction of an office building downtown.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. Still, urban policymakers face a deeper, paradoxical barrier: As a city becomes more prosperous and high-tech, its population of low-wage workers—the workers these labor initiatives are intended to Seattle flirts shrink. Earlier this year, Amazon lobbyists reportedly tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade Washington state legislators to ban cities from enacting gender pay equity laws.

The labor unions that once fought for those protections have been bleeding members and influence for decades. That explains why, when the ordinance was eventually challenged in court, the suit was brought not by Uber or Lyft, but by the U. Chamber of Commerce.

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Cynics might say such doggedness merely confirms that progressive cities remain in the thrall of labor activists. City-led initiatives routinely run afoul of state and federal law. It was a risky move. The second was a highly supportive public. Those findings were controversial, and the full effects of the minimum wage hike will be debated for years. When the City Council rejected a union proposal for new protections for hotel workers—among them, panic buttons for housekeepers—organizers end-ran the city with a ballot initiative and won by a plus point margin.

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Congress will need fresh policy models to deal with outsourcing, the gig economy and other complicated aspects of the 21st-century workplace. But the upside was huge. SEATTLE—On an overcast morning in early Aprilthree members of the Seattle City Council arrived to find their cavernous, titanium- and maple-paneled meeting chambers packed to capacity with a noisy, unwelcoming crowd. Urban job markets are becoming harder for low-wage workers—not least as more and more low-wage jobs fall to automation.

The independent-contractor model is the basis for the gig economy, that ever-larger piece of the job market already associated with falling wages and vanishing benefits. Within the year, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego and other cities were pushing ambitious wage hikes, as were several states. Meanwhile, other cities like Minneapolis, New York and San Seattle flirts continue their own urban-scale initiatives. Many of these problems would be better tackled at the federal level. But Uber, king of the budget ride, was having none of it. Even as workers face an increasingly unpredictable job market, traditional worker protections are in decline.

What was emerging was a hybrid form of labor activism. Currently, 41 business-friendly state legislatures have enacted laws Seattle flirts barring cities from regulating ride-share firms, according to the National League of Cities. Twenty-eight states have laws preempting cities from raising the minimum wage.

What is needed are structural policies that take some of the profits from higher-performing sectors, such as online retailing, and reallocate them to workers in less profitable sectors. Federal labor laws have been weakened. Uber and Lyft would fight it tooth and nail. The move shocked the political establishment, and, predictably, led to protests by progressive activists. It was a startling contrast to the scene from four years earlier, when minimum-wage campaigners had gathered on those same steps—and it offered a stunning rebuke to a city that has styled itself as the refuge for the modern worker.

Granted, with Republicans controlling federal labor policy, these local initiatives look like outliers.

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And more are on the way. Seattle, celebrated mainly for software, airplanes and overpriced coffee, is now at the forefront of a radical new experiment to see how far a city can go—and should go—to improve the lives of the people who work there. Seattle may yet prevail, Seattle flirts it likely will be years before the case is resolved.

Over the course of two surreal days, Seattle media were filled with images of hard-hatted ironworkers demonstrating noisily on the steps to City Hall. One player who clearly grasped the political implications was an economics professor and Socialist Alternative Party member named Kshama Sawant.

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By pushing for measures like secure scheduling, the city itself had taken on many of the functions of a union. But such cross-sector redistribution, says Vigdor, is far more plausible at the federal or state level, via tax policy, than at City Hall.

Mainstream Seattleites are hardly radical; most were disgusted by the mask-wearing, window-smashing anarchists who shut down the city during the World Trade Organization meeting.

In May, the 9th U. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned part of the collective-bargaining ordinance and sent it back to a lower court for further review. More on Magazine. Business, meanwhile, enjoys steadily more political power. The larger complaint, say Stowell and other business leaders, is the sense that city labor policy is being developed primarily by labor activists, with decreasing input from employers. Continue to article content.

But where past minimum wage campaigns had targeted state and federal lawmakers, with only modest success, Working Washington went small: It lobbied the SeaTac City Council.

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This threat of legal preemption by a higher political authority poses a serious challenge to urban-scale labor policy. At a time when many American cities are tripping over themselves to attract the kinds of companies that call this city home, Seattle has saddled itself with a more complicated challenge: how to help workers who have missed out on that prosperity without alienating the firms that make it possible in the first place. Yet the uncertainties around the issue underscore the difficulties cities face as they grapple with complex problems such as wage stagnation in a time of rapid economic change.

SeaTac takes its name from its biggest employer, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where, for years, unions had tried, and failed, to win higher wages for baggage handlers and other workers. Seattle flirts many of the workplace problems that launched the urban labor movement five years ago are just as pressing today. But campaigners had two advantages.

Inthe Missouri Legislature actually cut St. Twenty-three states bar cities from mandating paid sick leave. But the push for urban-scale labor policy has a deeper Seattle flirts. All of which raises a more fundamental question: Can a city fight inequality? That was merely the opening round. Even before the SeaTac vote, Working Washington campaigners had turned their attention to a much larger prize—Seattle.

The confrontation had been orchestrated in part by Uber, the ride-share company, as the latest move in its long-simmering war with the city.

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Yet officials in Seattle and other big cities see few s that federal action is imminent. This raises a broader concern—that the city might not be the best venue to address the labor challenges that urban progressives want to fix. Thanks partly to deregulation, many airline and airport jobs had been outsourced to non-unionized operators. Unable to win concessions through traditional labor-management negotiations, in a statewide group of union organizers and community activists called Working Washington decided to sidestep management altogether.

Ina team of economists at the University of Washington released Seattle flirts study concluding the minimum wage hike had led some city employers to cut employee hours, costing Seattle 5, jobs.

Kikuchi flirts with no-no in dominant outing

That means, for now at least, that cities are the ones left to carry on the fight. The City Council enacted the measure the following year, becoming the second U. The confidence of the progressives was breathtaking. Almost from the moment Uber chose Seattle as its third test market, back inthe city has sought to put itself between the company and its drivers: first, there had been an ordinance attempting to cap the of ride-share drivers here; then, inthe City Council passed a law allowing Seattle flirts to bargain collectively.

Further, because ride-share drivers are classified as independent contractors, many legal experts believed a local collective bargaining ordinance would run afoul of federal labor law, which traditionally gives collective bargaining rights only to regular employees. After an intensive get-out-the-vote campaign—and despite stiff resistance from Alaska Airlines and other local businesses—the measure passed by a scant 77 votes.

When the council finally voted to enact the wage law, in June the increase would be phased in throughthe rest of the nation took notice.

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Two equally misguided tax proposals were floated this week to raise additional funding to pay for public services in Seattle.
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