The Martin Luther King County Labor Council’s 150-plus member organizations represent more than 100,000 workers.
Elements of Seattle’s labor movement are backing different candidates for mayor ahead of the Aug. 1 primary election.
The Martin Luther King County Labor Council endorsed Jessyn Farrell and Bob Hasegawa on Wednesday, going a different direction from SEIU 775, the home-health and nursing-home workers union that endorsed Jenny Durkan on Tuesday.
Affiliated with the national AFL-CIO, the labor council is an umbrella group and its 150-plus member organizations represent more than 100,000 workers.
Farrell is a former state representative who stepped down from her 46th Legislative District seat to concentrate on running for mayor, while Hasegawa is a sitting state senator from the 11th Legislative District.
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The labor council was “unable to pick between the two,” it said in a statement.
Farrell is “a fresh female policy powerhouse who has delivered victories on transportation infrastructure” and pay equity for women workers, it said, praising Hasegawa for his work as a Teamsters union leader and on public banking options.
“Workers at the council want a Seattle Mayor who has experience holding public office — a leader with a proven track record taking votes on issues that affect our quality of life in one of the most dynamic, and expensive, economies in the world.”
UFCW 21, the prominent supermarket-workers union, endorsed Farrell last month. Her other labor boosters include Unite Here! Local 8, which represents hotel workers.
Hasegawa’s endorsers include unions representing Seattle longshore workers, carpenters and teachers. Along with him, the Seattle Education Association also has endorsed educator and attorney Nikkita Oliver.
Led by national labor leader David Rolf, SEIU 775 is one of the state’s largest union locals and is influential in Seattle politics. In addition to SEIU 775, Durkan, a former U.S. attorney, is endorsed by IAFF Local 27, the Seattle firefighters union.
In 2013, SEIU 775 supported Ed Murray as he defeated the UFCW 21-backed incumbent, Mike McGinn.