Every year, the main business of the Washington State Labor Council convention is the deliberation, discussion and action on resolutions submitted by the affiliated union locals and councils. These resolutions to establish policy, programs and action for the WSLC. The following were passed by delegates at the WSLC’s 2000 Convention on August 21-24 in Tacoma (some resolution numbers are skipped because those resolutions were either rejected by delegates or combined with another similar submission):
1. REGARDING THE INITIATIVE PROCESS
2. ON DECLINING PER CAPITA
3. PER CAPITA INCREASE
4. LICENSURE FOR SOCIAL WORKERS
5. ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE
6. SUPPORTING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR LOCKED-OUT WORKERS
7. OPPOSING PRIVATIZATION OF LIQUOR SALES IN WASHINGTON
8. IN SUPPORT OF STATEWIDE COALITION TO INCREASE STATE FUNDING FOR EDUCATION AND SERVICES
10. COUNTERING CORPORATE POWER THROUGH INDEPENDENT LABOR CANDIDATES AND LABOR/COMMUNITY COALITIONS
11. OPPOSING INITIATIVE 745
12. REGARDING WINCO FOODS
13. IN RECOGNITION OF BOB DILGER
15. ON INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE
16. REGARDING EMPLOYABILITY STANDARD
17. ON THE NEED TO DEFEND THE ERGONOMIC RULE
18. LEGISLATION TO REQUIRE TIME LOSS DURING EMPLOYER APPEALS
19. LEGISLATION ON INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMS
20. LEGISLATION TO CHANGE THE PRESUMPTION ON CHEMICALLY RELATED INJURIES
21. RELATING TO RETRO REFUNDS
22. HIGH ROAD TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENTS
23. ON LIVING WAGE MOVEMENT
24. ON THE JUST HEALTH CARE COALITION OF WASHINGTON
25. REGARDING THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES STANDING COMMITTEE
26. IN SUPPORT OF JUSTICE FOR WARDS COVE WORKERS
27. COMPENSATION & BENEFITS FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
28. REGARDING WSLC CONSTITUTION ARTICLE V, SECTION 3
29. SUPPORTING A PERMANENT VOICE @WORK FOR TEMPORARY WORKERS
30. INDEPENDENT POLICY CAPACITY FOR WORKING FAMILIES
31. IN SUPPORT OF IMMIGRATION REFORM AND AMNESTY
32. EQUAL RIGHTS FOR FARM WORKERS
33. IN SUPPORT OF A PERMANENT, YEAR-ROUND OIL SPILL PREVENTION AND RESCUE TUG FOR THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA
34. OPPOSING PRIVATIZATION OF THE WASHINGTON STATE FERRY SERVICE
35. IN SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE
36. PARDON FOR EUGENE BARNETT
37. OPPOSING FUNDING CUTS AT DSHS COMMUNITY SERVICE OFFICES
38. SUPPORTING WORKERS AT THE KENT STARBUCKS ROASTING PLANT
WHEREAS, the State of Washington and counties and municipalities within the state, have an initiative process to amend and establish laws; and
WHEREAS, businesses and employers have been funding initiatives threatening to the rights, livelihoods, and political options of brothers and sisters in Labor, and of the general public; and
WHEREAS, this leaves Labor in the disadvantageous position of having to enter the process late to change opinion and to urge rejection of such initiatives; and
WHEREAS, this makes combating such initiatives very expensive and difficult for Labor; and
WHEREAS, business and employers also have the funds to outspend Labor; and
WHEREAS, continued domination of the initiative process by groups funded by businesses and employers could erode the position of Labor and its ability to participate in the political process; and
WHEREAS, Labor has the organization and the people to create initiatives; and
WHEREAS, this organization would be effective in creating laws friendly to Labor; and
WHEREAS, participation by Labor would leave businesses and employers in the disadvantageous position of opposing initiatives already in progress; now, therefore be it
1. Labor should become pro-active and aggressive in the initiative process and in creating or opposing initiatives at the state level;
2. The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO shall form a standing initiative committee and this committee shall develop various initiatives and make recommendations to the WSLC;
3. Labor, in addition, shall use this process to respond more quickly and effectively to anti-union initiatives upon learning of the filing of such initiatives;
4. The Washington State Labor Council shall set up procedures for funding, such as special assessments, when appropriate, to support or oppose initiatives to the public;
5. The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, shall urge affiliate unions to adopt this process;
6. The Washington State Labor Council recommends that the AFL-CIO work to form similar committees in each and every state of the country that has such an initiative process.
WHEREAS, in 1994 the Washington State Labor Council convention adopted a per capita decrease of $0.05 based upon affiliation reaching 200,000; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council convention adopted a further decrease of $0.05 upon reaching per capita of 240,000; and
WHEREAS, the most per capita member number reached, based upon the amount of revenues divided by $0.75 was 191,000; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that Article XI, Section 1, Paragraph (b) be removed from the Washington State Labor Council Constitution.
WHEREAS, there has not been an increase in per capita to the Washington State Labor Council since 1992; and
WHEREAS, the cost of services, equipment and living has increased approximately three percent (3%) per year, and, if applied to the per capita cumulatively, would reflect a 17¢ increase; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that this 2000 Constitutional Convention change Article XI, Section 1, Paragraph (a) to reflect an increase in per capita tax from $0.75 to $0.80 per member per month effective October 1, 2000.
WHEREAS, clinical social workers are licensed to practice in 45 states, are the largest group of mental health practitioners in the country, and provide cost-effective mental health services; and
WHEREAS, clinical social workers are members of OPEIU Local 49; and
WHEREAS, social work has a 100-year history as a profession, including support for workers in the public and private sector; and
WHEREAS, clinical social workers are currently certified but not licensed in the state of Washington and are not recognized under statute as a profession; and
WHEREAS, clinical social workers are currently excluded by the Department of Health from participation in the grievance process when complaints arise against clinical social workers; and
WHEREAS, the privacy of social work clients will be better protected through privileged communication status under social work licensure; and
WHEREAS, the title of social worker will be better protected by social work licensure and limited to people who have actual social worker training; and
WHEREAS, a bill called the “Mental Health Practitioner Act”, which the Washington State Legislature will consider in the 2001 legislative session, would grant licensure to clinical social workers, other types of social workers and other mental health groups; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council support the goal of social work licensure for clinical social workers in Washington; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will support all current and future legislation that will put social work licensure into law.
WHEREAS, America’s prescription drug prices for seniors are 73 to 100% higher than Canada’s; and
WHEREAS, more than forty million Americans have no health insurance coverage whatsoever; and
WHEREAS, uninsured seniors and other Americans pay more for prescription drugs than HMO’s, insurance companies and the federal government; and
WHEREAS, seniors should not have to travel to Canada for lower drug prices; and
WHEREAS, drug makers are shamelessly profiteering on the backs of our uninsured and elderly, as demonstrated by the pharmaceutical industries’ number one ranking in profits by three Fortune 500 indexes in 1998; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council shall work in coalition with other groups to seek passage of legislation that will make prescription drugs affordable for senior citizens and others who do not have insurance coverage for prescription drugs; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will support legislation that authorizes the State to become a large purchaser of prescription drugs, with the authority to negotiate significant discounts and rebates which can then be passed on to senior citizens and the uninsured; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that if the drug companies and large drug wholesalers fail to negotiate prices with the State that are at least equal to the lowest price set for other purchasers in the state, the State shall have the authority to set maximum prices and penalize drug companies and wholesalers who price gouge and/or refuse to sell certain prescription drugs in Washington State.
WHEREAS, during the past two (2) years a large corporation in Washington State locked out its workforce of 2,300 employees; and
WHEREAS, these workers offered to return to work after 31/2 months on strike; and
WHEREAS, after these 2,300 workers were locked out and had exhausted their unemployment benefits they had to become steady recipients of social systems (food banks, Washington Basic Health, free school lunches, etc.); and
WHEREAS, these workers were replaced by people brought in from out-of-state and other workers from the beginning of the strike who had been recruited three to four months prior to the start of the strike; and
WHEREAS, a company that can starve its workers into accepting whatever proposal it deems suitable has eroded the social structure of the surrounding community, and a company’s ability to replace its workforce greatly impedes the effectiveness or organized labor during a dispute; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that when any employer locks out its workforce, it should solely pay Unemployment Insurance Benefits for the duration of the labor dispute.
WHEREAS, Washington State has been a “control state” since the end of Prohibition, with the state controlling wholesale and retail distribution of distilled spirits; and
WHEREAS, the present control state status was created under the Steele Act of 1933, and has served the citizens of Washington State well over the past six decades; and
WHEREAS, all previous studies and surveys conducted have shown that Washington State citizens are best served, both economically and socially, by having state control over the distribution of distilled spirits; and
WHEREAS, privatization of liquor in other states has led to increased availability and increased consumption of liquor; and
WHEREAS, increased availability and consumption leads to greater human services demands and social problems associated with alcoholism; and
WHEREAS, privatization of liquor does not serve the interests of local governments who derive revenue from profits made under the present state controlled system; and
WHEREAS, privatization would result in decreased revenue to the State of Washington because of such loss of profits; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that that the Washington State Labor Council oppose any attempt to privatize the wholesale or retail distribution of liquor in Washington State; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Secretary/Treasurer transmit copies of this resolution to the leadership of all four legislative caucuses and the Governor.
WHEREAS, there are many different groups of state employees and state service recipients, each of which are deserving of much needed state funding increases; and
WHEREAS, in typical budget years in the State Legislature, each of these deserving groups descends on Olympia lawmakers, ultimately to find themselves effectively competing with each other for scarce state dollars; and
WHEREAS, teachers and all education employees are underpaid and rely on state funding for salary increases; and
WHEREAS, the statewide ballot initiatives concerning public funds that have passed in recent years (e.g., I-601 and I-695) have passed despite organized, statewide opposition to the anti-government, conservative interests guiding them; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council shall maintain ongoing contact with other unions or organizations representing workers or other individuals whose wages and/or benefits are dependent upon state resources, with a view toward revitalizing a statewide coalition; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the purposes of this statewide coalition shall be:
a. to devise a strategy by which each of these key state funded workers or recipients can win a long overdue wage or funding increase from the state in the 2001-2003 state budget;
b. to look into ways in which we can mitigate the detrimental effects on Initiatives 601 and 695.
c. to take the political offensive and build an ongoing, statewide entity which will actively make the case to the state’s voting citizenry that state services and state employees are doing quality work so as to prevent any further erosion of funding from ballot measures like I-601 and I-695.
WHEREAS, the massive December 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle focused world attention on Washington State as the birthplace of a new movement of militant resistance to corporate plunder; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) has a historic opportunity to strengthen its commitment to the most oppressed by defying the neo-liberal, pro-business agenda that is lowering labor and living standards worldwide, especially for women and workers of color; and
WHEREAS, this “profits at all costs” agenda is evidenced in our state by the protracted lockout of 2,000 Kaiser Steelworkers, Boeing’s plant closings and continued employer opposition to farm worker organizing; and
WHEREAS, the Labor movement’s combativeness is weakened when the AFL-CIO champions the Democratic Party – a party that pushes corporate free trade through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the WTO; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the WSLC provide staff support, funding and leadership to spearhead the building of a broad coalition of unionists, youth, environmentalists, immigrants, people of color and feminists to support candidates and issues favorable to Labor’s interests.
WHEREAS, Initiative 745 mandates that 90% of public transportation dollars in Washington State be spent on “road construction and road maintenance”, and widely defines “transportation funds” as “government funds spent on transportation purposes, including, but not necessarily limited to, the transportation fund, the highway fund, public transit and ferry operating accounts and reserves, local government transportation accounts, public transportation authorities, (and) transportation benefit districts”, thereby usurping the budget authority of local governments and undermining the ability of cities to accommodate growth in a manner consistent with maintaining a high quality of life for its citizens; and
WHEREAS, Initiative 745 would divert 90% of the sales tax revenue now dedicated to local transit systems to non-transit purposes, which would likely cripple Public Transportation’s ability to provide any significant transit service to city and county residents, prevent cities and counties from achieving their Comprehensive Plan public transportation goals, leave little option for replacing lost public transportation service, and severely limit the ability of local governments and transportation systems to leverage federal matching dollars for public transportation purposes; and
WHEREAS, with dramatic losses in local tax revenue and matching federal dollars many local transit systems will be substantially reduced and/or eliminated, resulting in dramatic losses in fare box revenue, leading to accompanying financing problems of adequate funding to service bonds, with the potential of bankruptcy for some public transit agencies and the elimination of bus service in some areas of the state; and
WHEREAS, by having to divert 90% of its revenue to road building and maintenance, Initiative 745 would cause the termination of Sound Transit operations, undermining the will of the voters who approved the system in 1996, just as the Sound Transit Regional Express bus service, which started in September of 1999, has started carrying up to 14,000 people per day, and shortly after the start of the Sounder commuter rail service in September of this year and just a few months shy of groundbreaking for the Link Light Rail System in Spring of 2001; and
WHEREAS, Initiative 745 provides sales and use tax credits to road builders at the expense of general fund programs such as education, human services or affordable housing; and
WHEREAS, Initiative 745 undermines the Growth Management Act (GMA) by requiring all local comprehensive plans developed under the GMA and all six-year transportation plans required of state agencies to “reflect the provisions and priorities” of the initiative; and
WHEREAS, by eliminating the availability of environmentally sound public transportation choices, Initiative 745 greatly increases the possibility that the Puget Sound and other regions will be held in non-compliance of the Federal Clean Air Act, which would, ironically, result in the loss of all federal funding for new road projects; and
WHEREAS, Initiative 745 cripples transportation mobility for the most needy of our citizens, affecting those without the income or ability to own and operate private vehicles, such as seniors, people with disabilities, those not old enough to drive, and people on low incomes who rely solely on public transportation; and
WHEREAS, Initiative 745 proponents inaccurately label I-745 as a “populist” initiative when its effects would be the opposite by diverting 90% of all of Washington’s public transit funds, which were supported by local, voter approved ballot measures; and
WHEREAS, the “No on I-745” Campaign is endorsed by the League of Women Voters, Washington Conservation Voters, Action: Better City, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the Washington State Audubon Society, Transportation Choices Coalition, Washington Environmental Council, Alliance for Voter Approved Education, Lighthawk, Amalgamated Transit Union Workers, WashPIRG, Livable Communities Coalition, and 1000 Friends of Washington; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, oppose Initiative 745 and urge its affiliates and all voters throughout our state to vote against the initiative.
WHEREAS, WINCO Foods has opened a grocery store in Federal Way, Washington, with wages and benefits that are lower than the union-negotiated, area-wide agreement in King and Pierce Counties; and
WHEREAS, WINCO Foods has a history of exploiting both women and part-time employees in its non-union stores in Oregon, Nevada and Idaho; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that that the Washington State Labor Council will direct its affiliates to inform their membership of the anti-union, anti-worker culture of the Federal Way WINCO store.
WHEREAS, Bob Dilger, Executive Director of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council retired this year; and
WHEREAS, during his long tenure he worked for the interests of all of Labor while representing the Building Trades Council members at the Washington State Legislature; and
WHEREAS, he fought for the Washington State Federation of State Employees for their civil services right of collective bargaining; and
WHEREAS, he went beyond the scope of his duties to take a stand with the Washington State Federation of State Employees against any contracting out of their jobs; and
WHEREAS, his representation is greatly appreciated and will be very much missed by all of Labor; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council and the delegates to this convention go on record as formally recognizing Bob Dilger’s steadfast diligence in his efforts to represent the interests of all labor and in his standing with the Washington Federation of State Employees against all contracting out.
WHEREAS, injured workers in Washington are experiencing increasing frustration with the administration of our industrial insurance system; and
WHEREAS, the most recent effort on the part of management in the Industrial Insurance Division of Labor and Industries to reduce time loss has led to a huge increase in appeals to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and concerns from workers within the Department that claims are being closed inappropriately leading to inexcusable hardship on injured workers; and
WHEREAS, cutting costs related to serving injured workers has become a major goal, even though these cost cutting measures are hurting injured workers; and
WHEREAS, the Department has failed to aggressively seek legislation that changes the employability standard, which is presently the federal minimum wage, to a more reasonable and just standard even though the Performance Audit identified the employability standard as being unfair to injured workers; and
WHEREAS, Independent Medical Exams are being used inappropriately to close claims and are often being performed by physicians who have no other practice than “independent medical exams”, thereby creating yet another cottage industry that hurts injured workers; and
WHEREAS, chemically injured workers continue to suffer a disproportionate number of denials of compensability for their injuries and illnesses; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council and its assembled affiliates call for statewide legislative hearings with the specific purpose of giving injured workers the opportunity to tell their stories regarding how they have been treated by the Workers’ Compensation system.
WHEREAS, under present Labor and Industry rules, injured workers, who are unable to return to their former employment, are found to be employable if they can qualify for any job that pays above the federal minimum wage; and
WHEREAS, the injured workers, who are found to be employable, are not eligible for vocational retraining benefits; and
WHEREAS, more than 60% of injured workers receiving assessments are found eligible to work at federal minimum wage and are, therefore, ineligible for retraining; and
WHEREAS, the employability standard causes enormous additional hardship on injured workers who suffer a debilitating work-related injury or disease; and
WHEREAS, the 1998 Workers Compensation System Performance Audit stated in Recommendation 19, “The standard for employability as it relates to vocational rehabilitation benefits should be some portion of wages at the time of injury rather than the federal minimum wage”; and
WHEREAS, raising the employability standard to a reasonable percentage of wage of injury is critical to the well-being of injured workers in the state of Washington; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, with the assistance of its affiliates and other allies, seek the introduction and passage of legislation in the 2001 legislative session that raises the employability standard to no less than 80 percent of wages and benefits of injury; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington Sate Labor Council seek the support of the Governor and the Department of Labor and Industries for this legislation.
WHEREAS, the Department of Labor and Industries has issued a rule to protect workers from incurring musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses; and
WHEREAS, the business community demonstrated in the last legislative session that they seek to overturn or limit the authority of the Department to issue and enforce the ergonomic rule; and
WHEREAS, musculoskeletal disorders account for 52% of Labor and Industries Workers’ Compensation claims and represent a huge toll in pain, suffering, and lost work days for Washington workers; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the delegates at the 2000 Washington State Labor Council Constitutional Convention go on record as committing themselves to take all necessary steps to defend the ergonomic rule from attack; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that a database be kept of all delegates attending this Constitutional Convention with names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses so that when the attack on the ergonomic rule occurs in the legislature, the delegates here assembled can make contact with our legislators and urge others to make contact with their legislators to indicate the determined support of working people for this rule; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council be directed to contact the delegates here assembled and to recommend appropriate action should the ergonomic rule come under attack.
WHEREAS, an employer protest or appeal from a Labor and Industries decision favorable to the claimant often leads to a termination of time loss benefits to an injured or ill worker while the employer appeal or protest is being considered; and
WHEREAS, failure to pay time loss to a claimant entitled to such benefits can bring great economic hardship on injured workers and their family; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Labor and Industries can pay provisional time loss benefits and also has a procedure for recouping benefits to which injured workers may not be entitled; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, with the assistance of its affiliates, shall continue to actively pursue legislation to provide time loss benefits during an employer protest or appeal.
WHEREAS, Independent Medical Exams are frequently utilized in the industrial insurance system for a multitude of purposes, including evaluation of claimants’ condition, closure of claims, rating of permanent partial disability, determination of physical restrictions and other purposes; and
WHEREAS, many injured workers and their advocates believe that there is a bias against the injured worker in these Independent Medical Exams; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, and its affiliates, seek the passage of legislation that requires:
1. Independent Medical Examiners have a practice that involves the treatment of patients at least three days a week in the area in which they are performing IMEs.
2. Public records of complaints lodged against Independent Medical Examiners and notice to claimants that such complaints may be submitted and made part of a public record.
3. Established criteria and procedure for the removal of Independent Medical Examiners from the approved list utilized by the State Fund and Self-insured employers.
4. A requirement that the attending physician be given a period of thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of an IME report to respond.
5. In making a decision that greater weight shall be given to the diagnosis and opinion of the attending physician.
6. IME reports shall be sent to the claimant at the same time that it is sent to the Department or the Self-insured, except for psychological reports that are deemed to be potentially damaging to the injured worker.
7. Injured workers have the right to record IMEs and bring a witness of their choosing, without restriction.
8. A process should be put in place which gives the injured worker the right to reject a specific examiner or choose from a list of approved, agreed upon examiners.
WHEREAS, there is a growing number of chemically related injuries and illnesses suffered by workers in Washington; and
WHEREAS, the interpretation by the Department and Self-insured of “objective medical findings” has raised an insurmountable barrier for the majority of workers injured on the job by chemical exposure; and
WHEREAS, many of these injured workers suffer life-changing consequences from these exposures and are receiving little or no help from the industrial insurance system; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that there be legislation establishing, that when a worker suffers a chemical exposure on the job, that there is a presumption of a work related injury that can only be rebutted by objective medical findings that there are no physiological symptoms arising from the exposure.
WHEREAS, the Retrospective Rating Program has led to the refunding of hundreds of millions of dollars in premiums to employers; and
WHEREAS, the formula for determining the amount of premium refund includes Medical Aid Premiums paid by workers employed by Retro employers; and
WHEREAS, the employees of these Retro employers play a significant role in the reduction in work place injuries that give rise to these refunds; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that a portion of the Retrospective Rating Program refunds, proportional to the worker contribution to the formula, be set aside to be utilized for the benefit of workers in the state of Washington; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council work with the Department of Labor and Industries and the legislature to assure that workers, in some way, receive benefit from their share of the contribution to the Retrospective Rating Program.
WHEREAS, our transportation system is a key component of global industrial competitiveness, economic development and quality of life; and
WHEREAS, investment in our transportation system, both nationally and in Washington state, has too long been deferred and is in dire need of significant public and private resources, and, considering that these investments are possible in this time of both federal and state budget surpluses; and
WHEREAS, transportation investments have proven to be an excellent economic stimulation in cyclical downturns; and
WHEREAS, High Road Transportation Investment Standards, using both public and private funding, can create family wage employment, improve our domestic competitiveness, support our economy, enhance our quality of life, and create a better environment; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council shall enter into a coalition with other groups and associations who support transportation investment that adheres to the following High Road Transportation Standards:
a. Creation of a world class transportation system for the movement of both people and freight by investing the most effective mix of all modes of transportation, including road, rail, air, public transit, U.S. flag maritime and their associated infrastructures.
b. Investment leading to the design, construction, maintenance and preservation of our transportation infrastructure, which shall be performed by signatory contractors and union labor, utilizing project labor agreements and apprenticeship opportunity set-asides.
c. Public and private enterprises utilizing these investments must enter into cooperative relationships with their employees and their employee representatives. They must maintain neutrality in employees’ right to organize, agree to card check authorization, and arbitrate any disputed first contracts.
d. Future transportation investments should recognize the human resources necessary to supply the technical workforce capable of designing, constructing, maintaining, preserving and improving the transportation system. National, regional, state and local transportation authorities shall form partnerships with Labor to develop apprenticeships and training programs to insure the availability of a skilled transportation workforce. And, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will forward this resolution to the AFL-CIO Executive Council for review and action to make investment in our national transportation infrastructure a high priority for Labor using the aforementioned High Road Transportation Investment Standards.
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council has joined with the Washington Association of Churches and Washington Citizen Action to take the lead in building a Living Wage Movement in this state; and
WHEREAS, three fundamental principles of this movement are the right to organize, promotion of upward mobility opportunities for all, and the creation of a just and compassionate society that leaves no one behind; and
WHEREAS, the movement has formed organizing committees in Spokane, Yakima, and the Puget Sound to help foster stronger relations between labor and the many social justice organizations in each community; and
WHEREAS, the steering committee has agreed to highlight four areas of work this year: support for campaigns for higher wages, expansion of employment standards to include paid family leave, raising community standards by expanding affordable farm worker housing, and working to develop proposals for progressive rather than regressive fiscal and tax policies including corporate disclosure legislation; and
WHEREAS, the building of a significant, militant, and vibrant Living Wage Movement in Washington would benefit organized labor and all working people; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council formally joins and participates in the Washington Living Wage Movement; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will urge each of their affiliates to formally join the Washington Living Wage Movement and urge rank and file members to participate in activities designed to achieve the goals of the Living Wage Movement; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that there shall be a report at the Washington State Labor Council 2001 convention on the progress that has been made in building the Washington Living Wage Movement.
WHEREAS, The Just Health Care Coalition of Washington is a coalition partnership among labor, community organizations, health care providers, consumer groups, religious groups and professional associations created to organize and mobilize broad support for a national health care program that includes:
Universal coverage for all United States residents regardless of employment status or pre-existing conditions, from birth to death;
Comprehensive health care benefits including preventive care, long-term care, prescription drugs, dental, vision, and mental health services, occupational health, preventive and rehabilitative services;
Full public funding of national health insurance, with no premium-sharing, out-of-pocket costs or co-payments;
Freedom to choose one’s own health care provider;
Public administration of the program, delivered through a non-profit system;
Strong representation and a decision-making role for health care consumers and health care workers in public planning and oversight;
Funding and support for research at academic institutions and health centers that support and serve the public interest rather than private gain; and
WHEREAS, these are principles that are endorsed and embraced by the Labor Movement of Washington state; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, at it’s 2000 constitutional convention, endorses the Just Health Care Coalition of Washington and the campaign to win national, universal, publicly funded, comprehensive health care for all residents of Washington.
WHEREAS, for many years, the Washington State Labor Council has created and maintains several standing committees to provide input and assistance on issues of importance to the Council and its affiliates; and
WHEREAS, the Public Employees Committee has been one of the standing committees that was originally established to address the need for a forum and to establish better relations between local unions with public employees and to coordinate and share information among public employee representatives; and
WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO had previously encouraged the establishment of public employee committees through its statement of February 13, 1976, and through the operation of the AFL-CIO Public Employee Department, which has subsequently been disbanded; and
WHEREAS, participation in the meetings of the Public Employee Committee has been minimal for the past several years, with few sessions reaching a quorum of members; and
WHEREAS, the elimination of the AFL-CIO’s national Public Employee Department further reduced information and resources that could be made available to committee members or used to help organize statewide conferences and education efforts; and
WHEREAS, the declining level of interest and involvement in this committee has continued for several years despite repeated requests for participation, which calls into question the continued operation of the Public Employee Committee; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council’s Public Employee Committee be suspended from further operations at this time, unless and until affiliates of the Washington State Labor Council take concrete steps to reactivate and participate in a standing committee dedicated to public employees at some future point.
WHEREAS, Asian American and Native Alaskan cannery workers organized themselves in 1972 to address stark historical discrimination in the Alaska salmon canning industry and formed the Alaska Cannery Workers Association, and in 1973 they organized three landmark class action civil rights suits; and
WHEREAS, in 1974, 2000 Asian American and Native Alaskan cannery workers became class members Antonio v. Wards Cove Packing Co., charging overt racial discrimination at the Wards Cove cannery, including segregated jobs, housing and mess halls; and
WHEREAS, over the last 26 years, justice through the legal system including the U.S. Supreme Court has eluded the workers of Wards Cove Packing Company, a Seattle-based company; and
WHEREAS, workers of color, including the cannery workers, had successfully used the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1971 Supreme Court ruling in Griggs v. Duke Power Co. to use “disparate impact” to correct discrimination in the work place, and under the Griggs’ standard for “disparate treatment”, once workers of color statistically demonstrated that a practice disproportionately and adversely affected them, the company then had to prove “business necessity” for maintaining such practice; and
WHEREAS, in 1989 the conservative Supreme Court used Wards Cove to overturn its 1971 liberal rulings in Griggs and take away an important legal tool from workers; and
WHEREAS, although the Wards Cove case became the major driving force behind the passage of the 1991 Civil Rights Act, a highly financed lobbying effort by the company resulted in exclusion of the Wards Cove workers; and
WHEREAS, the number of civil rights cases by workers of color has significantly dropped since the passage of the 1991 Civil Rights Act in large part to subsequent courts making it more difficult for workers to use “disparate treatment”; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council reaffirm its support for the 2,000 Asian Pacific American and Alaska Native Wards Cove cannery workers and the legal efforts of the Northwest Labor and Employment Law Office (LELO) to win justice from the courts; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council support the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), the Northwest Labor and Employment Office, Organization of Chinese Americans and other Asian American and Pacific Islander organization in a new legislative initiative restoring and expanding workers’ legal rights to use the courts to remedy discrimination in the workplace; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council support the inclusion of the 2,000 Asian Pacific American and Alaska Native workers of Wards Cove in any new civil rights legislation.
WHEREAS, the Labor Movement has been a staunch and steady advocate for public education, not only for the future of our own children, but for the future strength and prosperity of our entire country; and
WHEREAS, the Labor Movement supports efforts to reduce class size, increase standards and assistance for all students to achieve those higher standards through increased educational opportunities, including early childhood education and extended learning programs; and
WHEREAS, the Labor Movement opposes efforts to damage public schools through school voucher schemes or through charter schools that are not accountable to the public; and
WHEREAS, the Labor Movement has always advocated for decent and fair compensation for teachers, as well as for all public employees; and
WHEREAS, the Labor Movement seeks to improve the wages, benefits and working condition for ALL workers and to avoid competition between different groups of workers that might cause future harm to individual groups of workers; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council and its affiliates work to improve public education by supporting efforts to improve funding so that our public schools will be able to offer every student the opportunity to achieve their highest potential; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council work to increase compensation and benefits for all public employees to a level that at least compares favorably to the private sector for jobs of comparable skill and ability, and provides, at a minimum, a family wage and benefit package that keeps up with the cost-of-living.
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council is an AFL-CIO Chartered State Central Body; and
WHEREAS, the national AFL-CIO has mandated that all State Central Bodies adopt the following constitutional rules; and
WHEREAS, the current Washington State Labor Council constitution is silent on these issues; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that Article III, Section 1(f) be amended to delete “auxiliaries” and insert “State Retiree Council”; and in Section 2, delete “Auxiliaries” and insert “The State Retiree Council” in order to conform with the new national AFL-CIO establishment of state retiree councils and deletion of the no longer applicable status of auxiliary.
WHEREAS, temporary employment agencies are supplying labor in ever increasing numbers to virtually every industry in the State of Washington; and
WHEREAS, many temporary employment agencies threaten, intimidate and discriminate against employees who are attempting to exercise their right to form or join a union; and
WHEREAS, many temporary employment agencies routinely expose their employees to hazardous materials or dangerous conditions for which they are inadequately prepared; and
WHEREAS, many temporary employment agencies pay their employees wages and benefits far below those typically earned by permanent employees performing the same work, thus undercutting established standards; and
WHEREAS, many temporary employment agencies require their employees to cross picket lines or work as replacement workers during a strike; and
WHEREAS, many temporary employment agencies do not disclose to their employees the amount that clients are charged for their services, do not pay employees for all hours for which they are required to report, and deduct fees from their employees’ pay for transportation, equipment and check cashing; and
WHEREAS, these unlawful and unethical practices threaten the rights and undermine the living standards of all workers, and the social and economic standards of communities throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, one temporary employment agency headquartered in the State of Washington, “Labor Ready, Inc.”, has exploited and abused workers and threatened community standards, not only in the State of Washington, but across the United States; and
WHEREAS, in Washington State, “Labor Ready” has supplied strike-breakers at Kaiser Aluminum and at Providence Everett Medical Center, denied jobs to female stagehands, and discriminated against union members in dispatch halls; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO commits to support the national “Temp Workers Deserve a Permanent Voice @ Work” campaign; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO endorses and commits to organize for a demonstration at the Labor Ready shareholders’ meeting, tentatively scheduled to be held in Tacoma on October 25, 2000; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO forward this resolution to affiliates in its jurisdiction, along with Central Labor Councils and Building Trades Councils in its region, urging them to adopt similar resolutions.
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Movement has proven to be a powerful force in local, state, and national elections; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Movement is at the forefront of the struggle to build the political power of workers and their families; and
WHEREAS, the revitalization of the labor movement requires more union members running for office, more intervention in public debate on behalf of union goals, and more organizations to reach the hearts and minds of voters in Washington; and
WHEREAS, corporate-funded anti-union think tanks, talk shows, and newspaper columnists contribute daily misinformation on a wide scale, undermining the foundation of social justice in Washington; and
WHEREAS, the Labor Movement’s efforts to elect candidates must be matched by an equally effective capacity to shape policy; and
WHEREAS, the lobbying, electoral work, and candidate training of the Washington State Labor Movement can only succeed if the Washington State Labor Movement builds its own independent, activist research capacity to counter anti-union and anti-worker research and to promote progressive alternatives; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the August 2000 Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, does hereby proclaim the creation of “Progressive Agenda”, a research and advocacy organization; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that this organization shall be funded at such levels as directed by the Executive Board of the Washington State Labor Council to build union-based policy capacity from appropriate funds; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Executive Board shall appoint a subcommittee to develop this proposal and to recommend steps to achieve this goal by the 2001 Washington State Labor Council Legislative Conference; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that affiliated unions shall be encouraged to contribute directly to the foundation of such an organization; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that Progressive Agenda shall represent a long-term, independent intervention of the Washington State Labor Movement in the shaping of the political environment of Washington State, confronting anti-union research and promoting analysis and vision that advances the interests of working Washington at home, at work and through government.
WHEREAS, there are approximately six million undocumented workers working in the service industry, agriculture, and the building trades in the United States; and
WHEREAS, these hard working men and women have contributed to the wealth and growth of the U.S. economy while they, themselves, are forced to live at the margins of subsistence; and
WHEREAS, the globalization of corporate investment and profit making has fueled third world poverty, unemployment, ecological catastrophes, non-democratic forms of government, and wars, the very conditions which force immigrants to flee their homelands; and
WHEREAS, our current immigration policy, which turns hard working, undocumented men and women into criminals for trying to support their families, has been an unmitigated failure; and
WHEREAS, employer sanctions for hiring undocumented workers has become a tool of employers to silence the voices of immigrant workers who speak up against bad working conditions, sexual harassment, low pay, or who participate in organizing a union; and
WHEREAS, the real causes for declining wages and unemployment in the U.S. include global competition, plant closures and mass layoffs, corporate flight, the growth of low wage jobs, virulent anti-union corporate practices and the failure of businesses to invest in the workforce; and
WHEREAS, despite a surplus of farm workers in this country, agribusiness is petitioning Congress for more bracero programs (guest worker legislation) with lower wage and benefit standards than currently exist; and
WHEREAS, the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) has increased its raids on workers through employer audits resulting in massive firings and deportations; and
WHEREAS, despite these attacks, immigrant workers throughout the country are providing inspiration to the whole labor movement by waging heroic organizing campaigns in the apple, cherry, strawberry, construction, service and apparel industries; and
WHEREAS, tens of thousands of immigrant workers courageously attended and testified for immigration reform and amnesty at the four regional and four sub-regional town hall meetings held by the AFL-CIO in conjunction with the religious and the immigrant rights communities; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, continue to lobby our congressional delegation against guest worker legislation and for equalizing labor law protection for farm workers as well as a general amnesty for undocumented workers which creates a fair and principled legalization program and which replaces employer sanctions with real enforcement of labor law standards; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, work with the Washington Alliance for Immigrant and Refugees Justice, Jobs with Justice, and Seattle Union Now, to educate our local unions, rank-and-file members, and the general public in order to gain their support for immigration reform and amnesty as well as a commitment to help organize the immigrant workforce.
WHEREAS, farm workers were not covered under the primary labor laws passed in the 1930s, e.g., the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standard Act; and
WHEREAS, though the state minimum wage has tripled in Washington State since 1987 piece rates in agriculture have increased even more so, making it nearly impossible for many farm workers, in particular older and female workers, from earning the minimum wage; and
WHEREAS, the agricultural industry has become wealthy off the backs of farm workers; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, work with the United Farm Workers of America and other allies to lobby for legislative and administrative changes which create equal protection for farm workers under all existing labor and employment laws, such as workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, child labor laws, health and safety, minimum wage and overtime standards; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that Washington State’s minimum wage law be enforced so that growers cannot discriminate against the hiring of older and female workers; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, begin working with the UFW on developing a strategy for bringing about true collective bargaining rights for farm workers.
WHEREAS, public concern for maritime safety, the recent invalidation of Washington State tanker safety rules, and the wreck of the freighter, New Carissa off Oregon state has heightened the public sense of the perils of an Exxon Valdez-type tragedy within the waters of the Puget Sound; and
WHEREAS, our marine environment throughout these shared waters is ever more precious and ever more at risk by the dramatically increasing and congested maritime traffic in our waters, specifically within the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the traffic converging areas off of our coast; and
WHEREAS, the brothers and sisters who make up the great unions of this Council, along with all the citizens of this great state, are paying a very heavy price for the restoration of a marine species (salmon), whose survival is now endangered; and
WHEREAS, the potentially catastrophic ecological consequences of an oil spill in this already severely stressed ecosystem would be devastating to all, the need for additional preventative measures must receive the highest priority attention; and
WHEREAS, oil spill prevention and rescue tugs, using the best available technology, is a proven method of prevention; and
WHEREAS, one ounce of prevention, when dealing with the catastrophic ecological consequences of an oil spill, is worth more than all the cure; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that this body go on record in support of a permanent, year around, oil spill prevention and rescue tug for the congested entrance and traffic areas around the Strait of Juan de Fuca; and; be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will provide support and leadership to the lobbying efforts, on both the state and federal levels, for continued funding of the permanent, year-around, oil spill prevention and rescue tug for the state of Washington.
WHEREAS, the State of Washington has been providing ferry services to the citizens of the State of Washington for the past 47 years, and is the largest ferry system in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the State of Washington ferry service is the number one tourist attraction and the second largest transit system in the state, making over 400 trips per day to islands and peninsulas throughout Puget Sound; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Ferry Service, through its unionized work force is committed to providing at all times the best and safest transportation service to the residents of Washington State; and
WHEREAS, by being a unionized work force, the union workers of this system have enjoyed a living wage job; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council oppose any attempt to privatize any portion of the Washington State Ferry System to include its passenger-only boats; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council shall work in coalition with other groups to support all legislation and funding needed to keep the system a viable “unionized” operation for the citizens of this State; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council go on record to oppose the payment of state funds to, or the subsidizing of any subcontractor of the ferry system who is not providing for living wages, and/or that will not sign a neutrality agreement during the organizing of its workforce; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council go on record to oppose any legislation that would allow for the non-union operation of state subsidized and authorized ferry operations.
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council reiterates its support for statutes that ensure that vessels engaged in the coastwise and international trades are built and crewed by American workers; and
WHEREAS, the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Act, the Passenger Vessel Services Act, and U.S. cargo preference laws are key to maintaining the U.S. Merchant Marine; and
WHEREAS, the maritime laws of the United States should be an aid and not a hindrance to the development of the Merchant Marine to sail competitively in the global economy; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council Convention calls on Congress to review existing tax policies and develop a tax program that will enable the American Merchant Marine to sail competitively in the global economy; and, be it further,
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council Convention condemns the rotten “flag-of-convenience” system in which avaricious ship owners around the world register their vessels in phony flag states (Panama, Liberia, Marshall Islands, etc.), to evade labor, safety, environmental and tax laws which has resulted in the global exploitation of seagoing maritime labor; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council Convention calls on Washington’s Congressional delegation to demand that the U.S. government end its support of the “flag-of-convenience” system.
PARDON FOR EUGENE BARNETT
WHEREAS, Eugene Barnett was a member of the United Mine Workers and the Industrial Workers of the World, sometimes known as the IWW, and worked all his life for better working conditions for all men and women; and
WHEREAS, Eugene Barnett was in Centralia, Washington, on November 11, 1919, the first Armistice Day, and witnessed a raid on the IWW union hall by members of the American Legion and witnesses members of the IWW firing back at the raiders to defend their hall from being destroyed; and
WHEREAS, Eugene Barnett and seven other IWW members were falsely accused and convicted of the murder of Warren Grimm, one of the four Legionnaires shot and killed that day, and were sentenced to 25 to 40 years in prison; and
WHEREAS, seven of the twelve jurors at the trial, in affidavits filed in 1922, stated their belief that Eugene Barnett and the other defendants were innocent of the charges against them, that they were tried in an atmosphere of hysteria and intimidation, and that they were prosecuted and convicted because of their union membership and willingness to work for justice for workers; and
WHEREAS, Eugene Barnett spent eleven and one-half years in prison and was then paroled, but never pardoned; and
WHEREAS, historians have acknowledged the facts stated herein, yet most citizens of the State of Washington do not know what happened in Centralia, and how the lives of working people and their families were affected; and
WHEREAS, Ester Barnett Goffinet, the daughter of Eugene Barnett, has requested the Governor of Washington State to grant her father a posthumous pardon; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council supports a full pardon for Eugene Barnett from the State of Washington, and the State of Washington should acknowledge to his family, his community, and the community of labor that he was innocent of the charges against him and that a tragic miscarriage of justice occurred in Centralia, Washington, in 1919; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council deliver a copy of this resolution to Governor Locke with this recommendation.
WHEREAS, King County DSHS Community Service Offices are facing staffing cuts of 99 full-time equivalents (FTEs); and
WHEREAS, this staffing cut results from a flawed DSHS allocation process and is being presided over by a management corps which grew by 312 positions from July 1, 1999 to December 10, 1999; and
WHEREAS, these staffing cuts will result in a 20% front line staffing cut in offices like the Belltown Community Service Office in Seattle, which serves one of the largest caseloads of homeless, mentally ill, aged and disabled populations in the state; and
WHEREAS, the Belltown CSO has a Native American Outreach program which has been honored by the state and which is now being eliminated by these cuts in staffing; and
WHEREAS, the Belltown CSO has an employment program for homeless adults which is a national model called the PACE program which is now being eliminated due to these cuts in staffing; and
WHEREAS, the Belltown CSO originated the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) facilitation program which saves the state millions of dollars annually and is now facing a 50% cut due to these cuts in staffing; and
WHEREAS, all of these cuts will damage all Community Service Offices in the state by impacting their ability to serve the aged and the disabled; and
WHEREAS, these cuts seem to be part of a management plan to eliminate all social services in the Community Services Offices on a piecemeal basis; and
WHEREAS, legislative leaders from the 36th and 43rd districts have stated that these cuts and the damage that will result to vulnerable populations were not the intent of the legislature; and
WHEREAS, community organizations like the Washington Association of Churches, Columbia Legal Services, Seattle Displacement Coalition, Downtown Human Services Council, Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Chief Seattle Club, Seattle Indian Health Board, United Indians of All Tribes, and others have all opposed these cuts; and
WHEREAS, DSHS Administration could be maker other cuts which would not cripple the Community Service Offices’ abilities to provide vital social services to the public; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council go on record as opposing these cuts; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council demands that DSHS management present to the Washington Federation of State Employees their plan for each local Community Service Office to Maintain the current programs and services at their present levels.
WHEREAS, Starbucks maintenance mechanics and technicians in Kent, Washington, organized into the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 286 in November 1999 in order to win a voice on the job and decent pay and benefits; and
WHEREAS, Starbucks spends millions advertising itself as a community and worker friendly company, but its real agenda has been to expand globally by keeping workers without collective bargaining rights and with inferior benefits; and
WHEREAS, Starbucks hired out-of-town attorneys from Akin, Gump, a firm known for union-busting in the entertainment industry, and who handled labor negotiations for the 5th Avenue Theater against Musicians Local 76-493; and
WHEREAS, Starbucks has stalled bargaining and concealed documents, has installed a surveillance camera in the lunch room in an attempt to intimidate workers, has threatened union supporters, and has told workers they will lose benefits under a union contract; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council has a proud history and tradition of supporting workers fighting for collective bargaining and a voice at work; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Labor Council is committed to the principle that “An injury to one is an injury to all; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council commits to support Local 286 and its members in their fight for a just contract at Starbucks; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will work with IUOE Local 286, the King County Labor Council and all interested affiliates in building for a major mobilization action in late September 2000