Space Needle

Chethan Shankar

Tourists visiting the Space Needle on Labor Day will see workers out picketing, as the unionized workforce at the Space Needle continues to put pressure on the private owners of Seattle’s iconic landmark. 

The labor dispute has been going on for years. The workers are represented by Unite Here Local 8, and their union has been pushing for a contract with protections against outsourcing of jobs.

AP Images

Each week on Sound Effect we invite a panel a journalists to talk about local stories they feel didn't get sufficient attention.

On this week’s show we invited Hannah Brooks Olsen of the news and politics blog Seattlish, Rachel Lerman, the Seattle Times’ technology reporter and Derek Young, founder of the Exit 133 blog about Tacoma.

For Lerman, it was the past week’s King County  Office of Law Enforcement Oversight meeting. The LEO is a civilian committee that investigates complaints about the county Sheriff’s department.

Paula Wissel

The Space Needle corporation engaged in unfair labor practices, according to a ruling from a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The ruling was issued on Friday, Jan. 30.

This is the latest decision in what’s been a two-year battle between the Seattle icon and its bartenders, servers, cooks and other unionized workers.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The owners of Seattle’s most famous landmark, the Space Needle, violated federal labor law, according to an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board. 

The landmark that dominates Seattle's skyline is owned by Space Needle LLC, a private company owned by the descendants of the construction entrepreneur Howard S. Wright. The company he founded later built the Space Needle for the 1962 World's Fair. A spokesman says the company plans to appeal the judge's decision.

Paula Wissel

The Space Needle’s labor practices are on trial in a federal hearing room in Seattle. All week, the National Labor Relations Board(NLRB) has been presenting its case against the privately-owned Seattle icon.

Acting on a complaint from Unite Here Local 8, which represents several hundred Space Needle food and banquet workers, the NLRB is making its case that the company engaged in unfair labor practices, including encouraging employees to resign from the union and stop paying union dues.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

The two women who were the first same-sex couple to be granted a marriage license in Washington state are grand marshals in the annual Seattle Pride Parade.

West Seattle couple Jane Abbot Lighty and Pete-e Petersen also stood on the Space Needle on Sunday morning to raise a giant marriage equality flag above the Seattle icon. The flag featuring a red equal sign is making its first appearance atop the Space Needle.

City of Seattle Planning and Development

Will allowing tall buildings in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood block views of the Space Needle? One Seattle City Council member says the rezone will actually preserve more views.

Chethan Shankar

A labor dispute is heating up between workers at the Space Needle and the private owners of Seattle’s most famous landmark.

The contest for designing the top of the Seattle Space Needle went from six choices to one - trees.

The Associated Press

The roof of Seattle's iconic Space Needle was repainted on Tuesday with the message "top this" to promote a new contest in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World's Fair.

Jake Ellison / KPLU

Gregory Schneider of Tucson, Ariz., has won a trip to space in celebration of the Seattle Space Needle's 50th anniversary.

He beat out five finalists in Seattle this week for some final competitions. (Video of the event after the jump.)

The five finalists in a contest to be sent into space as part of Seattle Needle's 50th anniversary celebration are in Seattle this week.

The final phase of the contest begins Monday morning. The finalists will each face three challenges before the winner is announced on Wednesday. (Meet the finalists after the jump and pick whom you'd send into space.)