Seattle's newly elected Socialist councilwoman accused aerospace and defense giant Boeing on Monday of “economic terrorism” and told Boeing machinists they should consider taking “over the factories.”
“The workers should take over the factories, and shut down Boeing’s profit-making machine,” Kshama Sawant told a group of activists in the city's Westlake Park.
Sawant’s comments were made at a rally organized by machinists after they rejected a deal that would reduce pensions for union members in return for guaranteed jobs in Everett, Wash., building 777X Boeing airliners for eight years.
Now Boeing is considering taking those jobs elsewhere.
“That will be nothing short of economic terrorism because it's going to devastate the state's economy,” Sawant told the crowd.
If Boeing tries to move out, Sawant said, union workers should simply take over the Everett airplane-building factory.
She referred to this as “democratic ownership.”
“The only response we can have if Boeing executives do not agree to keep the plant here is for the machinists to say the machines are here, the workers are here, we will do the job, we don't need the executives. The executives don’t do the work, the machinists do,” she said.
She said that once workers take over the plant, they should start building things everyone can use.
“We can re-tool the machines to produce mass transit like buses, instead of destructive, you know, war machines,” she told KIRO-TV.
By “war machines,” she apparently meant drones, KIRO reported.
“Workers have to realize, they have more power than they think,” Sawant said.
Sawant, who defeated a four-term Democratic incumbent last week, ran a campaign that took aim at capitalism and advocated for a $15 per hour minimum wage.
(H/T: Red State)
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