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National Labor Board Takes Space Needle Management To Court

Flickr Photo/Craig Elliott

The National Labor Relations Board and Space Needle management are in federal court this week.

The union that represents about 200 employees at the Needle is accusing management of union busting and unfair labor practices.

The union’s Jasmine Marwaha says the Space Needle has been a union shop since it opened in 1962. Marwaha says the current dispute has been simmering since the last contract expired in 2011. “It’s something that has escalated in recent years," she says. "We’re hoping that, especially with the federal government stepping in, that the Space Needle stops what they’re doing and goes back to respecting workers.”

The union alleges that Space Needle management engaged in coercive actions and unlawful retaliation against union supporters. Specifically the union is alleging in court documents, among other things, that Space Needle management added 20 new shifts to restaurant server schedules without calling back laid off workers to fill the slots.  

In a statement Space Needle CEO Ron Sevart says they have a long history of treating team members with respect. "The Space Needle, however, does not have a history of unfair labor practices. Our ongoing position is to respect the negotiating process, and we are comfortable that the facts disclosed during the hearing will support our position.”

The case is expected to last all week.