The Martin Luther King County Labor Council celebrated its 130th year by hosting the first ever “Labor Oscars.” The awards gala was held at the Museum of History and Industry on Saturday, February 24 and was attended by workers as well as labor, business, and political leaders.
“If there is anything we’ve learned over the past 130 years, it’s that when workers stand together and fight for better working conditions, there is nothing we cannot achieve,” said MLKCLC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Grant. “Labor Oscars was an opportunity for the labor community to honor our past and celebrate the great work being done to improve the lives of working people.”
“Labor Oscars” were presented for 25 categories. The full list of winners is below:
Ally of the Year: Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity
Best Rally: The Right-to-Work Rally at the State Capitol organized primarily by Ironworkers 86 and Sheet Metal Workers 66.
Best Reporter: Elisa Hahn - KING 5
Best Labor Lawyer: Dmitri Iglitzin - Schwerin Campbell Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt
Educator of the Year: Michael Tamayo - Seattle elementary school teacher and vice president of the Seattle Education Association and Rosa Powers - Garfield High School teacher.
Best Faith Ally: Michael Ramos - Executive Director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle.
Best Civil Rights Organization: The Ingersoll Gender Center for supporting trans workers including leading the conversation on apprenticeships.
Best Union Communications: The Stand - the daily union newsletter published by David Groves of the Washington State Labor Council.
Best Labor-Friendly Small Business: Plum Restaurants - a woman-of-color-owned vegan restaurant chain that has supported progressive worker legislation like high wages and paid sick days.
Best Union Construction Company: Hoffman Construction
Labor’s Worst Person of the Year: Donald Trump
Best Social Media Drag: Lindsey Grad of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW for calling out a sexual harasser on Facebook.
Best Union Tattoo: Clint Bryson IBEW 77
Best Organizing Campaign: Teamsters 117 for successful organizing of paratransit, taxi cab, and app-based drivers.
Best Non-Profit Organization: The Puget Sound Labor Agency
Best Political Consulting Firm: Christian Sinderman and Erin Schultz of Northwest Passage for their work on Teresa Mosqueda's successful city council campaign.
Best Elected Official: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
Best Political Director or Lobbyist: Dale Bright - Laborers Local 242
Best Political Campaign: The Burien Fantastic Four - consisting of Pedro Olguin, member of Teamsters 117, Jimmy Matta, member of Carpenters 41, Krystal Marx, and Nancy Tosta and ran by Guillermo Mogollan-Diego.
Volunteer of the Year: Theresa Purtell of IAFF 27 for personally calling every firefighter in Seattle City limits up until election day reminding them to vote for Jenny Durkan and Teresa Mosqueda.
Best Strike: Teamsters 174 - for the strike at CalPortland Sand and Gravel Seattle, which maximized leverage and achieved major wins for those workers and the First Student Bus Driver strike in Seattle earlier this month, which won drivers expanded health care benefits for themselves and their families.
Shop Steward of the Year: JR Herrington - Carpenters Local 30
Best Overall Union: IAM 751 - for great leadership in tough times, bold political action, support of the entire labor movement, and devotion to our community.
Best Principal Officer: John Scearcy - of Teamsters 117 for his principled and strategic leadership of the Uber and Lyft organizing campaign, the unity in his diverse ranks, his intentional decision to hire staff from immigrant communities and communities of color, and constantly working his ass off for his members.
Nancy Rising Lifetime Achievement Award: Larry Brown - IAM 751