Danny Westneat in The Seattle Times:

I think workers should agitate for higher wages with their employers, not with the government. They can do this individually or, for more leverage, as a group (we try both here at The Seattle Times.)

In this movement, though, the unions and workers are sidestepping employers, petitioning the government directly to impose wages for them.

Labor leaders say they turned to this because the old ways weren’t working.

“It has become very hard to exercise collective-bargaining rights anymore, as corporations have had their run of things now for decades,” says David Freiboth, executive secretary of the King County Labor Council and also on the mayor’s $15- wage-advisory committee. “So yes — we made a conscious choice to turn to government this time.”

As Westneat points out, the best local model for getting cash guaranteed by the government is Boeing. "In a sense," Westneat argues, "this $15-wage movement is just the flip side of the Boeing corporate-welfare coin."