2005 WSLC Resolutions

To Do ListEvery year, delegates to the Washington State Labor Council convention discuss, deliberate and act on resolutions submitted by the affiliated union locals and councils. These resolutions establish policy, programs and action for the WSLC. The following were passed by delegates at the WSLC’s 2005 Convention held August 4-6 in Spokane.

(Some resolution numbers are skipped because those proposed resolutions were withdrawn, tabled or rejected by delegates, or combined with another similar submission.)

1. Regarding the HACIENDA LUISITA WORKERS MASSACRE in the Philippines
2.  Resolution to FEND OFF A “TAKINGS” INITIATIVE in Washington State
7.  Regarding Labor’s Participation on All Requests for Proposals Seeking State or Federal WORKFORCE TRAINING Dollars
11.  Resolution on Workers’ Compensation INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMS
13.  Use of the General Duty Clause to Cite Employers for ERGONOMIC INJURIES
16.  Resolution of Recognition


Resolution #1

WHEREAS, On November 16, 2004, in an assault on striking farm workers and sugarcane workers of the Cojuanco family-owned Hacienda Luisita, fourteen people were killed, more than one hundred unjustifiably arrested and more than 440 are still missing; and

WHEREAS, since that massacre, at least 32 human rights activists have been either abducted or assassinated, including Father William Tadena, who was murdered because of his open support for the slain workers, and attorney Romeo Capulong survived an assassination attempt; and

WHEREAS, these brutal attacks were committed by the Tarlac Philippine National Police and the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, under the direction of Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia Santo Tomas, the large landowning Cojuanco family, and the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; and

WHEREAS, despite these ongoing assaults, the workers are courageously continuing to strike for their demands; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, condemns the brutal actions by the Cojuanco family, DSLE Secretary Santo Tomas, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Macapagal Arroyo regime against the striking workers; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that we extend our deepest sympathy and solidarity to the workers, their families and their unions; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that we call upon President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign immediately for failing to publicly denounce these political killings, for cheating in the last election as proven in her public admission when she testified to the Commissioner on Elections regarding votes, for failing to uphold the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and for failing to pursue peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that we will advise all WSLC affiliates and the National AFL-CIO of these blatant human rights abuses and urge them to join us in taking action along the lines suggested in this resolution; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, send this resolution to the Washington State Congressional Delegation, and to the National AFL-CIO, and that we encourage the national AFL-CIO to forward this resolution to the United Nations, the U.S. Human Rights Commission, as well as to the President of the United States and the President of the Philippines.


Resolution #2

WHEREAS, a sweeping “takings” initiative (Measure 37) became law in Oregon in November 2004; and

WHEREAS, special interests in Washington, like the BIAW, the Farm Bureau and Tim Eyman, are rumored to be running a similar initiative in Washington in 2006; and

WHEREAS, such an initiative would create a process by which property owners can receive monetary compensation for any action government takes to prevent unlimited development or be exempted from current regulations; and

WHEREAS, according to the Oregon Secretary of State, Measure 37 will cost Oregon $344 million a year in administrative costs alone — before paying even one claim; and

WHEREAS, such an initiative could bankrupt already struggling local governments across Washington state and burden taxpayers; and

WHEREAS, further reduction of government budgets could lead to cuts in publicly funded jobs such as transit workers, teachers, police, EMTs and fire fighters, and librarians; and

WHEREAS, such budget deficits could also decrease funding for public works projects such as road building and maintenance; and

WHEREAS, developers and businesses such as Wal-Mart stand to benefit from exemptions from land use regulations, allowing development to occur that would displace local businesses and undermine good paying union jobs; and

WHEREAS, we find that just compensation for landowners is already required by the U.S. Constitution, and this initiative goes way beyond such compensation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, oppose a sweeping takings initiative from being run in Washington because it could defund local governments and displace good paying union jobs.


Resolution #3

WHEREAS, one of the very first acts of the Bush Administration, upon claiming office in January 2000, was to announce a President’s Management Agenda that included orders to federal agencies to privatize or outsource at least 425,000 federal jobs within four years; and

WHEREAS, in May 2003, the Bush Administration rewrote the rules and procedures that are used to review federal jobs for privatization and outsourcing, contained in the Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-76, in ways that dramatically increased the bias of the process in favor of private contractors taking over federal jobs, even if they cost the government more than continued in-house performance; and

WHEREAS, the May 2003 A-76 rewrite also doubled the number of federal jobs the Bush Administration wanted subjected to privatization review to 850,000. In addition, in defiance of legislation passed by the Congress later that year that forbade the use of privatization quotas, the Bush Administration has continued to require federal agencies to subject arbitrary numbers of federal jobs to privatization review, including those that are “inherently governmental” the result of which will be to endanger the public interest and increase costs to taxpayers. In addition, despite the fact that the new A-76 outlawed direct conversions of federal jobs without benefit of a cost comparison (competition) between in-house teams and the privatized alternative, federal agencies including the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Bureau of Prisons, and the EEOC continued to privatize without competitions; and

WHEREAS, in 2001, in response to the tragic events of September 11, Congress voted to federalize airport security screening but the Bush Administration insisted that the price of its support of the legislation would be that these new federal employees would have virtually none of the civil service rights or protections afforded to other federal employees. Obliging the demands of President Bush, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) would not recognize a union and would not authorize its management to engage in collective bargaining. AFGE has organized TSA workers in spite of this ban on union activity, but the Bush Administration continues to refuse to recognize the union and acts in a harsh, arbitrary, and discriminatory way toward this segment of the federal workforce; and

WHEREAS, in 2002 Congress established the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which would become the third largest federal agency and would be comprised of 22 formerly separate agencies including the INS, the Coast Guard, the Border Patrol, FEMA, Customs, and TSA among other agencies. Again, the Bush Administration insisted on, and won, legal authority to eliminate most forms of collective bargaining and other union representational activity, as well as the establishment of new “pay for performance,” classification, adverse actions, and appeals’ systems to be formulated solely at the discretion of management and political appointees. The Bush Administration’s rationale for taking union rights away from federal employees in DHS was its contention that collective bargaining was “inconsistent with national security” and that no truly patriotic or loyal American would object to the elimination of collective bargaining rights; and

WHEREAS, AFGE has a pending lawsuit challenging the DHS systems that were to be implemented in Summer 2005, and as a result, the agency’s initial implementation has been delayed until September, 2005 pending the outcome of AFGE’s suit that charges that DHS exceeded its legal authorities in the design and planed roll-out of the new, anti-union, anti-worker “HRMax”; and

WHEREAS, upon declaring victory in Iraq in the spring of 2003, the Bush Administration, through Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, demanded and obtained even broader authorities to restrict union activity, collective bargaining, worker rights, and eligibility for fair pay and fair treatment than was granted to DHS management. Civilian employees in the Department of Defense, under the Bush Administration’s so-called “National Security Personnel System” will lose their annual pay adjustment, their retention rights in a RIF connected to either length of service or veterans’ status, their right to appeal adverse actions to an independent third party outside the agency, among other rights. In addition, DoD management will have the right to unilaterally void any provision of an existing collective bargaining agreement, substituting an “agency issuance” delivered unilaterally by management. No longer will opportunities for overtime be based upon seniority, and no longer will management be required to choose qualified volunteers for special assignments away from a worker’s regular post, but can select individuals at will; and

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration has authored legislation that it intends to have introduced by fall 2005 that would extend these restrictions on collective bargaining and impose a highly subjective, politicized “pay for performance” to the rest of government; and

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration has tried to force career employees at the Social Security Administration to disseminate false information about the financial solvency of the Social Security system when they interact with the public in the course of their regular duties. This attempt to politicize the agency in order to further the Administration’s effort to dismantle the Social Security system through privatization was presented to employees as a direct assignment; and

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration has packed the Federal Services Impasse Panel with harshly anti-union members who, when considering bargaining impasses between federal unions and agency management, have found in favor of management almost all of the time. For example, in 2004 AFGE and CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) reached bargaining impasse on 26 issues ranging from dues withholding to workplace health and safety. The Bush FSIP implemented management’s last offer on 25 of 26 issues, finding for the union only on the issue of parking. Exploiting the fact that federal unions have essentially no recourse at FSIP when management presents harsh, concessionary ultimatums in the context of collective bargaining, the SSA has forced a new contract on AFGE that reflects almost no compromise on the part of management; and

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration used its notorious “strong-arm” techniques to eliminate in Conference provisions of laws passed by both the House and Senate that would have made the process for considering privatization of federal jobs fairer to federal employees and more advantageous to taxpayers. These provisions included the right of federal employees to appeal contracting out decisions to GAO and the courts when they have evidence of wrongdoing by agencies. Private companies eager to profit from government work already have such rights, and despite bicameral and bipartisan support for equal rights for affected federal employees, the White House forced these provisions to be dropped from the final bill; and

WHEREAS, for more than 20 years the Department of Veterans Affairs has been prohibited by law from using taxpayer dollars appropriated for the purpose of providing patient care at Veterans’ Health Care facilities. Over the objections of AFGE and numerous veterans’ service organizations, the Congress is poised to end the prohibition so that the Bush privatization agenda can divert precious patient care funds to contractors eager to make a profit on veterans’ misfortune. Further, instead of addressing chronic understaffing at VA health care facilities, the agency is replacing dedicated and cost-effective federal employees with contractors, by contracting out the VA Puget Sound Compensation and Pension Service, which performs one thousand per month disability eligibility exams for veterans, to the private corporation called QTC Management, Inc.; and

WHEREAS, in spite of the fact that the federal prison inmate population has increased dramatically over the past decades as a result of mandatory sentencing laws (the inmate population has increased 6-fold in the past 25 years), the Bureau of Prisons has set staffing levels of just 89% (compared with 95% in the 1990’s) of adequacy. As a result, there has been a 34% increase in inmate assaults against corrections officers without a weapon, and a 64% increase in inmate assaults with a weapon against corrections officers in that time. With the BOP acknowledging that its prisons are 41% above rated capacity, the Bush Administration has refused to address these public safety and corrections officer safety issues; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, join with AFGE to fight these Bush Administration policies by supporting AFGE-sponsored legislative attempts to restrict and repeal the Administration’s privatization agenda and gain changes in the privatization review process that will make it more fair to employees and more advantageous to taxpayers; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the affiliates of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, provide a visible show of support to AFGE in opposing legislatively and through the courts, the authorities the Bush Administration has won in the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to undermine our union’s right to represent our members through the process of collective bargaining and our members’ rights to a fair and objective pay, classification, performance management, and appeal system; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, join with AFGE to oppose the extension of anti-union collective bargaining restrictions and subjective, politically inspired “pay for performance” systems government-wide, which the Bush Administration intends to press for starting in August 2005; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, join with AFGE to prevent the Bush Administration’s political appointees in the Social Security Administration from forcing career civil servants to spread disinformation regarding the financial health of Social Security as part of the Administration’s attempt to dismantle the program through privatization; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, join with and support AFGE’s efforts to improve staffing at federal prison facilities as a means of providing superior protection both to local communities and corrections officers and their families.


Resolution #4

WHEREAS, the current law RCW 47.64.170 and 1983 c 15 s8; and RCW 47.64.210 and 1983 c 15 s 12 simply states that collective bargaining for Ferry Workers shall commence after the State budget has been adopted by the legislature and approved by the Governor; and

WHEREAS, since the mid-1980s under this law all maritime and related unions under the Washington State Ferries System have not experienced successful collective bargaining compared to pre-existence of the above-noted laws; henceforth, Ferry Workers standard of living has been greatly eroded, and respective unions have been in perpetual negotiations that are costly in time and finances; and

WHEREAS, the structure of starting and finishing collective bargaining before the legislature convenes to address the new economic package is practical in achieving improvements for all Ferry Workers; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council Convention of 2005 adopt this legislative resolution for law changes concerning Ferry Workers at the Washington State Ferries System.

(Attached to this resolution was the actual legal preparation of the above-mentioned law change.
Click here to download that language in MS Word.)


Resolution #5

WHEREAS, apprenticeship programs – traditional throughout the wide variety of construction trades and more recently established within other careers, such as cosmetology and law enforcement – offer the unique opportunity to earn living wages and receive excellent benefits, all while acquiring valuable, marketable skills; and

WHEREAS, apprenticeship programs have, over generations, proven their effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council structure assures quality training and guarantees an adequate supply of highly skilled, reliable workers; and

WHEREAS, apprenticeship programs, funded by workers, union, and employers, demand virtually no taxpayer dollars; and

WHEREAS, apprenticeship programs have for over two decades actively recruited women and minorities into the building and construction trades, encouraging these groups to pursue a career that rewards equal pay for equal work; and

WHEREAS, journey level construction workers are currently retiring in numbers too great to be replaced by new applicants, widening a “skills gap” with the clear potential to cripple our industry in coming years; and

WHEREAS, in 2000, Governor Gary Locke spearheaded Executive Order 00-01, mandating that certain percentages of all hours worked on public projects be performed by registered apprentices; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 00-01 has been extraordinarily successful in achieving the interrelated goals of opening career opportunities, broadening access to apprenticeship programs, and addressing the looming skills gap; and

WHEREAS, the executive order in action has proven apprenticeship utilization critics wrong, as their dire predictions of increased costs, shrunken bidding pools, journeyman displacement, and struggles with compliance never materialized; and

WHEREAS, the 2005 Legislature, through passing ESSB 5097, codified the order in a bipartisan show of support for apprenticeship utilization standards; and

WHEREAS, ESSB 5097 was the very first bill signed by Governor Christine Gregoire, demonstrating both her commitment to educating Washington’s construction workforce and the urgency of the industry-wide problem; and

WHEREAS, neither ESSB 5097 or Executive Order 00-01 apply to K-12 construction projects; and

WHEREAS, such projects represent $819 million worth of construction work during the current biennium; and

WHEREAS, a few, but far from all, school districts enforce apprenticeship utilization standards; and

WHEREAS, voter-approved K-12 school bonds and capital levies also generate substantial construction work, often dramatically increasing funds available for building improvement, renovation, and replacement; and

WHEREAS, expanding education and training opportunities on such projects would be a logical extension of and supplement to the overall goals of K-12 construction, employing and educating young people in a way that employs and educates even younger people; and

WHEREAS, including apprenticeship utilization language within proposed school bonds would also enhance public familiarity with the concept of apprenticeship, an outcome that labor could only benefit from; and

WHEREAS, supplementing a capital levy or construction bond proposal with such language would likely increase its chance of success at the ballot box; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that all Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, affiliates make every feasible effort to draft, propose or support only those school construction bonds or capital levies that incorporate apprenticeship utilization standards; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, encourage non-affiliated entities, such as school districts, to draft, propose or support only those capital levy and construction bond proposals that include apprenticeship utilization language; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, transmit a copy of this resolution to all relevant sources in order to demonstrate its support of this matter.


Resolution #6

WHEREAS, the Federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 has proved to be an outstanding success in providing workers with unpaid leave and job protections while allowing them to give necessary care to family members with serious illnesses and/or injuries; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 has also provided working men and women in this country with unpaid leave and job protection while they struggle with their own serious illnesses and injuries; and

WHEREAS, without paid leave time many working men and women in Washington State find themselves unable to use the federal and state family medical leaves thereby forcing them to make difficult, and many times, devastating choices regarding the care of their loved ones and their employment; and

WHEREAS, the need for Family Medical Leave Insurance has increased exponentially with the decrease in health care insurance coverage, the increase of day surgeries and out-patient care, demanding that working family members provide round-the-clock care in their homes for their loved ones; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 is now under attack by President Bush, Labor Secretary Chao, many others in Congress, as well as by many Washington State corporations and businesses, as part of a concerted effort to reduce all labor standards, and the erosion of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act would have an adverse effect on Washington workers; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions go on record in opposition to any actions taken by the President, the U. S. Department of Labor and/or Congress that would weaken the protections and coverage provided by the Federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions shall support efforts in the Washington State Legislature that would reinstate a State Family Medical Leave Act that ensures working men and women in Washington will have the job protections necessary to care for themselves and their families; and be it finally

RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and it’s affiliated unions shall support legislation to create a Family Medical Leave Insurance program in Washington State to provide a paid family leave benefit for workers; educating and mobilizing their union members on the issue, and if necessary, supporting a referendum that would establish this program.


Resolution #7

WHEREAS, the education and training of Washington’s Workforce is the cornerstone of our state’s economy; and

WHEREAS, labor’s participation in all areas of training is vital to the success of Washington ’s Workforce Training System; and

WHEREAS, Employment Security, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the Workforce Training Board, give millions of state and federal dollars out locally for workforce training through Request for Proposal (RFP); and

WHEREAS, in the past it was a stated requirement by these state agencies that all Request for Proposals (RFP) have authentic labor participation and sign off; and

WHEREAS, there is no longer a stated requirement of labor’s participation in these request for proposals; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that labor be a part of any federal, state or local workforce training Request for Proposal; now, therefore, be it

WHEREAS, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and the Labor members on the Workforce Training Board, work with the Board, Employment Security and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to make it a requirement that labor participate and sign off on all future workforce training Request for Proposals; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that no Request for Proposals originating from Employment Security, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges and the Workforce Training Board pertaining to workforce training be funded unless there is labor participation or sign off on the proposal.


Resolution #8

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the State of Washington specifies that the use of motor vehicle fuel taxes be dedicated for the construction and maintenance of Washington State’s transportation infrastructures; and

WHEREAS, generations of Washington residents have placed safe and efficient transportation of citizens and commercial goods as a high-priority investment for nearly 200 years; and

WHEREAS, the complexities of Washington’s diverse, expansive and vulnerable geography require comprehensive stewardship that permits Washington to compete as a trade state in a global economy, simultaneously affording a quality of life for its people and wildlife; and

WHEREAS, the nationwide demand for 185,000 construction apprentices each year for the next ten years mirrors an aging population of highly-skilled and experienced workers edging into retirement, and that transportation construction projects generate jobs, education and apprenticeship opportunities in an industry that requires extensive understanding of the complexities in heavy highway, underground, bridge and ferry construction; and

WHEREAS, Washington’s Governor Gregoire, and the 2005 State Legislature guided the due process that developed a bipartisan transportation package that will protect public safety, will enhance the economy and foster a vibrant future for Washington State; and

WHEREAS, opponents have filed Initiative 912 and Initiative 342, and may propose other initiatives which would repeal other portions of the 2005 new transportation funding law and stall any progress of moving Washington’s transportation infrastructure out of harm’s way and on to a safe and efficient future; and

WHEREAS, passage of Initiative 912 and Initiative 342, and any similar initiative created to repeal new transportation funds, would be a severe detriment to Washington’s transportation needs, would result in an increased danger to the public, and would drastically paralyze economic growth for our state and nation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that NO Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, affiliate will sign, support or otherwise render any assistance to further the claims and cause of Initiative 912 and Initiative 342, or any other proposed assault on the 2005 transportation revenue package; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, transmit a copy of this resolution to all relevant sources in order to demonstrate its ardent opposition to Initiative 912 and Initiative 342 and any efforts opposing the 2005 Transportation Revenue Package.


Resolution #9

WHEREAS, many political and initiative campaigns use misstatements and untruths to promote their goal of electoral victory; and

WHEREAS, in many circumstances, these untruths have led to severe consequences for working people with the most notable recent example being the passage of an initiative that repealed Washington’s ergonomic rule; and

WHEREAS, the Washington State Supreme Court in a 1999 opinion found that our statute on false political advertising related to ballot measures to be invalid under the free speech protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, all citizens and residents of Washington have an interest in demanding truthful debate in political campaigns; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council work in coalition with other like-minded organizations to establish a Truth in Campaigns pledge for candidates and ballot measure campaigns to voluntarily agree to adopt; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council work with legislators to explore legislation that allows publication in the state voters’ pamphlet of a “Truth in Campaigns pledge” seal for those campaigns who have agreed to abide by the terms of the pledge.


Resolution #11

WHEREAS, it is a common practice by the state fund and self insured employers to order Independent Medical Exams (IMEs) for injured workers; and

WHEREAS, the determination by these IMEs have a major impact on the lives of injured workers; and

WHEREAS, many injured workers have expressed the belief that the IME doctor or panel were essentially company doctors with little compassion or sympathy for injured workers; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that injured workers be treated fairly and also feel that they have been treated fairly; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that any provider selected to perform an IME must have an active practice seeing their own patients as the predominant source of income for their practice, and that the Department develop incentives to ensure high quality IMEs; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that all IMEs, including IMEs ordered by self-insured employers, shall be scheduled by the Department off of a rotating list of providers who have an active practice, provided that there shall be a process for the injured worker or their representative and the claims manager to schedule agreed upon IMEs.

Resolution #12

WHEREAS, the authority of WISHA to obtain warrants to enter employer property, when employers refuse entry, has been challenged in a law suit by the Washington State Farm Bureau; and

WHEREAS, WISHA having the authority to gain access to employer property is essential to the protection of health and safety of workers in Washington; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, in coordination with its affiliates, take all steps necessary, in the courts or legislatively, to insure that the authority of WISHA to obtain warrants is indisputable and beyond challenge and do everything possible to defeat the efforts of those who seek to undermine the health and safety protections of workers in Washington.


Resolution #13

WHEREAS, musculoskeletal injuries continue to account for at least 50% of Workers Compensation claims and represent a huge toll in pain, suffering and lost work days for Washington workers; and

WHEREAS, federal OSHA is using the powers granted to it under the OSHA general duties clause to require reasonable ergonomic standards in industries monitored by OSHA; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, go on record supporting the use by WISHA of their general duties clause to cite Washington employers for failure to create conditions that would assist in avoiding preventable musculoskeletal injuries; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the 2005 Washington State Labor Council Convention urge the labor members of the WISHA Advisory Committee to continue to advise and encourage WISHA to use all means available, including the general duties clause, to help prevent musculoskeletal injuries.


Resolution #14

WHEREAS, the health and safety of Washington State’s working men and women are the foundation of a vibrant and growing economy; and

WHEREAS, the first step in the prevention of workplace illnesses and injuries is the education of employers and employees alike; and

WHEREAS, when workers are injured it is imperative that they receive treatment and care that is in accordance with the best practices available to make them whole and return them to work as soon as possible; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Labor and Industries, along with the business and labor communities have piloted two Centers for Occupational Health and Education, one located in Renton at Valley Medical Center and one located in Spokane at St. Luke’s Hospital; and

WHEREAS, these two centers have demonstrated that injured workers are receiving the treatment and care that have enabled them to return to work faster, with better long term results and with greater confidence in their care in comparison to those not treated in one of these centers; and

WHEREAS, these two centers have provided educational opportunities for medical practitioners as well as business, labor and community groups in the prevention, care and treatment of workplace illnesses and injuries; and

WHEREAS, the COHE’s have successfully demonstrated their ability to reduce the costs of medical treatment and time loss, as well as the pain and suffering of injured workers, thereby helping to maintain the competitive edge of doing business in Washington State; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the affiliates of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, encourage their members to avail themselves of the educational opportunities, care and treatment that are offered by the Centers for Occupational Health and Education, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and their affiliates support the efforts of the Centers for Occupational Health and Education with their continued participation on the business-labor advisory boards and continuing education presentations; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and their affiliates support legislation that would sustain and expand the Centers for Occupation Health and Education in Washington State.


Resolution #15

WHEREAS, 45 million Americans are not covered by health insurance, of which, over 700,000 are Washingtonians, and 120 million Americans are underinsured for health care purposes; and

WHEREAS, health care coverage costs continue to rise by double digits each year, caused in part by health care providers shifting the cost of the uninsured and underinsured to the insured, as reported by the Washington Hospital Association, a cost shift of approximately 20%; and

WHEREAS, profitable companies and corporations continue to shift the costs of health care coverage for their employees to State Health Care plans and other taxpayer supported programs, despite their ability to pay for those benefits; and

WHEREAS, the rising cost of health care benefits is the number one issue in virtually every union’s collective bargaining process, as employers seek to shift increased health care coverage costs to their employees, eroding wage increases and other benefits; and,

WHEREAS, increased health care costs are the number one reason for the breakdown of bargaining and the cause of labor disputes; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the passage of health care legislation that addresses and seeks to resolve the above conditions, be pursued by the Washington State Labor Council and its affiliated unions as a priority during the 2006 Washington State legislative session.


Resolution #16

WHEREAS, the 2005 Washington State Labor Council convention took place during an unprecedented time in the history of the AFL-CIO; and

WHEREAS, in the midst of great uncertainty and division, convention delegates, alternates, guests, officers and staff came together with renewed friendship and solidarity; and

WHEREAS, despite the turmoil, confusion, and general mayhem that always accompanies this event, the 2005 convention was a complete success; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that this body, with great appreciation and respect, recognizes and applauds this year’s convention host, the Spokane Regional Labor Council, for a job very well done!

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