Fish. Family. Freedom. And Pizza. Rep. Mary Peltola took to Twitter to urge pizza workers in Alaska to start a union “real fast,” because she has a hankering for some union-made pizza.
It’s one of myriad similar union-heavy messages from Alaska’s union-backed congressional representative. She urged Starbucks baristas to unionize. She’s pushed the screen actors strike. She wanted a railroad strike.
“Someone in an Alaskan pizzeria start a union real fast,’ she wrote, “because I’m ABSOLUTELY trying to eat a slice from a union shop.”
In November, Peltola wrote, “When workers unionize, they win. That’s why it’s critical unions have political leaders who will work with them, not against them, and expand the rights of union workers nationwide.”
She has not stopped ever since. In fact, unionizing is her most consistent message, although her staff is not unionized.
“A worker’s biggest strength is their ability to withhold their labor — to strike. To stand in the way of that undermines their ability to fight for better conditions, better pay, & better lives for themselves and their families. It’s time we are allies to workers, not obstacles,” she wrote in December.
“If we want to better the lives of Alaskans statewide, we need to bring good-paying, union jobs to communities across the state. Let’s get people the jobs, and pay, they deserve,” she wrote in July.
Now that a pizzeria in Brooklyn, New York has made the news for requesting a union vote, Peltola wants Alaska to follow suit.
It may cost Alaskans more, however, to share a pizza with Peltola.
Currently, a line cook at Moose’s Tooth in Anchorage starts at $16 an hour. No experience is needed, and it comes with an array of benefits, such as a 401(k) matching retirement plan, health and dental insurance, vision insurance employee discount on food, paid time off, and an energetic working environment. A sous chef at the Bear Tooth Grill, a sister establishment, gets paid $22 to $27 an hour. No degree is required, but two years of restaurant experience is requested.
The average cost of a pizza nationally is $17.81, but in Alaska, that same pizza is going for $21.74, a 22% increase in cost for Alaskans over their fellow pizza eaters in the Lower 48.