Jonathan Rosenblum was campaign director of the first successful $15 fight in the country, the historic SeaTac Airport workers campaign, which he directed for the Service Employees International Union.
Jonathan Rosenblum is an organizer and writer with 40 years of leadership in grassroots union and community work in the US and Canada. After leading the historic 2013 SeaTac Airport workers campaign – the first successful Fight for $15 campaign that helped spark the national movement – he wrote the book, Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement (Beacon Press, 2017). Jonathan has worked closely over the last 10 years with socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, helping organize movements to win the first $15 minimum wage in a major US city; breakthrough renters’ rights legislation; and the historic tax on Amazon and other big businesses to fund affordable housing and Green New Deal projects in Seattle. Jonathan consults frequently with unions and political groups in the US and Canada on major organizing campaigns, strikes, and electoral fights to build power for working people.
Prior to the SeaTac $15 fight, Jonathan led healthcare organizing campaigns and played central roles in a diverse array of multi-union drives in the Seattle area, from tech workers to university workers to construction workers and stagehands. He was the founding organizer of Washington State Jobs With Justice, where he led major demonstrations and direct actions for workers’ rights. He played a pivotal role in organizing the historic 1999 protests against the WTO conference, the famous “Battle in Seattle.” In Seattle, Jonathan continues to serve in leadership positions in multi-faith coalitions and is an active leader in Kadima (Jewish) Reconstructionist Community.
With a strong analytic approach grounded in the practical experiences of workers in struggle, he has written extensively for The Nation, Jacobin Magazine, International Union Rights Journal, New Labor Forum, Labor Notes, Tikkun Magazine, Truthout, Religica, Labor Studies Journal, AlterNet, In These Times, Yes Magazine, Daily Kos, Salon.com, and the Seattle Times.