Faye Guenther’s multiyear plan to revolutionize the grocery workers union.

by Hamilton Nolan, In These Times

On February 6191925,000 Seattle workers from more than 100 different unions walked out in support of 35,000 striking shipyard workers. It was global news. The city was momentarily paralyzed by the most comprehensive display of labor power that post-WWI America had seen.

On the wall of an exhibit about the strike at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry, a small label channels the thinking of the strikers: ​Where will this lead? To revolution? Power for workers? The truth is: Nobody knows where!”

ufcw workers outside a grocery store

A century later, the electrifying heart of Washington’s labor movement can be found in a three-story office building, next to a chiropractor and a Mexican restaurant, in the town of Des Moines, which lies along the bay about 15 miles south of downtown Seattle. There, in the lobby, ​educate, agitate, organize” is spelled out in neon blue cursive on the wall. A novelty claw machine holds little plastic bubbles containing bright yellow union T-shirts and beanies. This is the headquarters of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) 3000.

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