Organizing at Amazon
Customer-service representatives at Amazon.com have gone public about something they've kept private for two years: a union drive. In a mission statement made last week through the Washington Alliance for Technology Workers, some Amazon employees are calling for better pay, better job security, more promotional opportunities, and a larger voice in the company.
Organizers are trying to usurp Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' own rhetoric. For years, Bezos has claimed that the still-struggling company is in the first stage of growth, or "day one." Union organizers are calling their group "Day 2," a not-so-subtle suggestion that Bezos stop asking Amazon employees to make sacrifices for him. PHIL CAMPBELL
Psychic of the Week
Outspoken Sound Transit critic Emory Bundy's doomsaying came true last week. Thanks to $171 million in cost overruns for the downtown-to-UW tunnel, the project went back to the drawing board, and chief engineer Paul Bay resigned. This catastrophe also jeopardized critical federal funding, not to mention the political stock of light-rail advocates Mayor Schell and mayor wannabe Greg Nickels. JOSH FEIT
Look Out, Richard Conlin
Evidently, local political consultant Cathy Allen thinks media people make the best city council candidates. Allen, who recently helped elect former TV news guy Jim Compton, apparently wants her next client to be P-I columnist Susan Paynter. Pollster Allen recently let Paynter know that the columnist had the winning ingredient for council races--whopping name recognition. Paynter, who has taken to trashing the council in her column lately, says she didn't ask Allen to conduct the poll, and she's "never entertained" the idea of running. Now, however, she says she finds the idea "entertaining." NANCY DREW
Trailer Law Trashed
A November 9 Washington Supreme Court ruling has robbed mobile home tenants of "the right of first refusal," their ticket to buy their trailer if the landlord sells.
This ruling is bleak news for the state's estimated 500,000 trailer tenants, and it seems to cast a shadow on hopes for a broader first-refusal law that would cover renters in other kinds of housing. According to City Council Member Peter Steinbrueck, the right of first refusal is "dead in the water." ALLIE HOLLY-GOTTLIEB