Every 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 2007 Convention held August 16-18 in SeaTac.
(Some resolution numbers are skipped because those proposed resolutions were withdrawn, tabled or rejected by delegates, or combined with another similar submission.)
1. CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTIONS OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND VICE-PRESIDENT CHENEY
2. OPPOSING PRESIDENTIAL SIGNING STATEMENTS AUTHORIZING WARRANTLESS SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
3. WASHINGTON WORKERS PRIVACY ACT
4. IN SUPPORT OF EFFORTS TO ORGANIZE EARLY LEARNING EDUCATORS
5. RESOLUTION ON IMMIGRANT RIGHTS
6. RESOLUTION ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING
7. MAKING INCREASED FUNDING FOR THE KING COUNTY REEMPLOYMENT SUPPORT CENTER PROGRAM A WSLC LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY IN 2008
8. HPV RESOLUTION
9. RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE FACULTY AND COLLEGE EXCELLENCE (FACE) ACT
10. RESOLUTION CONDEMNING WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL’S CONTRACTING OUT PROCEDURES
11. HR 676: SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE PROGRAM
12. PROMOTION OF “HELMETS TO HARDHATS”
13. SUPPORT OF PREVAILING WAGE ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
14. IN SUPPORT OF RESPONSIBLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND INDUSTRIAL PRESERVATION
15. OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO WOMEN IN ORGANIZING AND LEADERSHIP
16. WSLC LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
17. RESOLUTION ON HEALTH CARE REFORM
18. SUPPORT OF COWLITZ CASINO/ENTERTAINMENT CENTER
19. SUPPORTING UNIONIZED COMPANIES BY URGING CITY AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO SWITCH CELLULAR SERVICE TO RESPONSIBLE PROVIDERS
21. REGARDING MEMBERSHIP ON TRANSIT AUTHORITY BOARDS
22. A DIVERSE MOVEMENT CALLS FOR DIVERSE LEADERSHIP
23. RESOLUTION ON SAFE PATIENT CARE AND THE RIGHT TO A FAIR UNION ELECTION PROCESS
24. RESOLUTION ON BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE
CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTIONS OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND VICE-PRESIDENT CHENEY
WHEREAS, there is a high probability that the Bush Administration has committed impeachable offenses, including the following: justifying war with false and misleading statements in an effort to deceive the people of the United States and the U.S. Congress; undermining the rightful authority of Congress to declare war; directing or authorizing the National Security Agency and various other agencies within the intelligence community to conduct electronic surveillance outside of the statutes Congress has prescribed as the exclusive means for such surveillance; allowing and condoning the use of torture; and issuing over 1,200 signing statements declaring the President’s right to interpret laws passed by Congress as he sees fit: and
WHEREAS, in all of this, the President and Vice-President have acted in violation of their oaths of office and the U.S. Constitution; and
WHEREAS, Congress has a solemn duty to provide oversight of the Executive Branch on behalf of the American people, and failure to investigate impeachable offenses will establish a precedent of no accountability for similar actions by any future administrations; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Constitution provides a means for the American people, through their congressional or state representatives, to call for investigations of improper or illegal actions committed by the Executive Branch; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, call on Congressional Representatives Jim McDermott, Jay Inslee, Adam Smith, Dave Reichert, Rick Larsen, Brian Baird, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Richard “Doc” Hastings, and Norm Dicks to cause to be instituted in the House of Representatives proceedings for an impeachment investigation into the actions of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, and/or to support House Resolution 333, which calls for impeachment proceedings against Vice-President Cheney.
OPPOSING PRESIDENTIAL SIGNING STATEMENTS AUTHORIZING WARRANTLESS SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
WHEREAS, the President of the United States has asserted the right to search our citizens’ mail without a warrant; and
WHEREAS, the Congress, in passing the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, has specifically forbidden such searches without a court order; and
WHEREAS, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution requires that no search be warranted except on “probable cause”; and
WHEREAS, allowing the President to engage in warrantless searches and seizures threatens the ability of our workers and organizers to engage in the independent political activities required for their success in expanding the power and effectiveness of the nation’s Labor Movement; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, declares this an unjust and unconstitutional violation of the law; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that we will oppose any attempts by this President to interpret the law in this way; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that all workers and Congressional representatives of the people must be encouraged to do all they can to oppose this subversion of our democracy and the theft of our natural-born rights as the free people of this republic.
WASHINGTON WORKERS PRIVACY ACT
WHEREAS, in 1935 the U.S. Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act with the stated intent to make the official policy of the U.S. government to support the rights of workers to join labor unions and promote collective bargaining; and
WHEREAS, the effect of the National Labor Relations Act allowed union density to grow and during the decade of the 1950s labor unions represented over 35% of all workers in America; and
WHEREAS, on June 23, 1947, and over the veto of President Harry S Truman, Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act and President Truman denounced the Act as a “slave labor” bill; among other things, the Act declared the closed shop illegal and thereby weakened a union’s ability to collectively bargain; and
WHEREAS, since the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, the U.S. government’s policies and practices have continued to diminish workers’ ability to exercise their rights to join a union, resulting in a gradual reduction in union density until in 2007 only12% of workers are represented by a union; and
WHEREAS, employers and their union-avoidance consultants require workers seeking union representation to attend mandatory meetings at which the workers are subjected to threats, firings and implications of plant closures by employers; and
WHEREAS, the federal government has failed to protect workers seeking union representation from the employers’ abusive behavior, the labor movement must seek remedy at the state government level; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council endorse the Washington Workers Privacy Act which would make it unlawful for employers to require employees to attend mandatory meetings when the primary topic of the meeting is religion, politics or labor unions; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will make passage of the Washington Workers Privacy Act a top priority for the 2008 Washington State legislative session.
IN SUPPORT OF EFFORTS TO ORGANIZE EARLY LEARNING EDUCATORS
WHEREAS, the crucial importance of high quality early learning and education has come to the forefront of public discourse due to the research showing the brain’s rapid development in the earliest years of a child’s life; and
WHEREAS, after time with their parents, most children spend a significant amount of time in early education settings, primarily in child care centers in Washington State; and
WHEREAS, over 20,000 women and men have committed to being educators for the state’s children in center based care; and
WHEREAS, the most significant indicator of quality in early education is the consistency and experience of the adult in the room — the teacher — but the turnover rate for teachers is 40% in a year; and
WHEREAS, the average wage for a teacher is $8.20 an hour, mostly without benefits or retirement and with little chance of promotion or even regular cost of living increases; and
WHEREAS, the state is the licensing agency for the child care centers and sets the standards of care; and
WHEREAS, the state is moving to increase the quality of education in the child care centers and the best way to increase that quality is through improved wages and benefits for teachers, which will improve retention of those teachers; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council endorse the campaign to organize child care educators and urge the State Legislature to pass enabling legislation to allow educators in early learning to bargain with the state over issues of wages, benefits and professional development and to fully fund the commitment made at the bargaining table.
RESOLUTION ON IMMIGRANT RIGHTS
WHEREAS, all of us who work for a living, regardless of country or region of origin, are dependent on job opportunities; and
WHEREAS, we are all dependent on each other to make our communities safe, enjoyable places in which to live and raise our children; and
WHEREAS, it is not the fault of any worker if there is an inadequate supply of living wage jobs in a community, region or nation; and
WHEREAS, immigrant workers across the country are waging heroic organizing campaigns to demand opportunities to make a living and live in such communities; and
WHEREAS, free trade agreements like CAFTA and NAFTA have opened the borders to the unfettered movement of corporations in search of profits while simultaneously depriving workers on both sides of the border of opportunities to make a living and increasing poverty, crime, drug abuse, and social unrest; and
WHEREAS, unrealistic and restrictive immigration policies combined with the effects of U.S. foreign policy and trade policy have helped create waves of political and economic refugees and a subsequent increase in undocumented workers in the United States; and
WHEREAS, a general atmosphere of racist scapegoating is being used to blame immigrants for joblessness and low wages while corporations plunder the globe causing poverty, unemployment, ecological catastrophes and wars, which drive immigrants to flee their homelands; and
WHEREAS, the 1996 Immigration Law militarized the border, increasing the repressive power of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, formerly known as the INS) and resulting in a rise of deaths and deportations of undocumented immigrants; and
WHEREAS, in December 2005 the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would make felons of the country’s eleven million undocumented immigrants and anyone who assists them; and
WHEREAS, the equally racist “guest worker” bills in the Senate are designed to control the immigrant “threat” by new bracero programs that amount to indentured servitude, and by pouring millions of dollars into expanded militarization of the border; and
WHEREAS, while granting a pathway to citizenship is a necessity to protect the rights of current immigrants, only demilitarization of the border and comprehensive immigration reform will protect future immigrants from being exploited and criminalized; and
WHEREAS, in the streets and the schools across the country, immigrants and their defenders are rising up in protest movements against repressive laws, and demanding comprehensive reform, with profound potential to better the lives of all working people in the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, since the year 2000 the AFL-CIO has called for comprehensive immigration reform, which has included numerous town-hall meetings around the country, the Immigrant Workers’ Freedom Ride, and extensive lobbying for comprehensive immigration reform; and
WHEREAS, the President of the United States and Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform this past Spring and instead got caught up in some very conservative anti-immigrant worker rhetoric, border security issues and an attempt by some to greatly expand unregulated guest worker programs (H2B programs) to the grocery, transportation, construction and service industries, which would have created real jeopardy for U.S. workers in these industries; and
WHEREAS, the Bush Administration’s immigration policy is now devolving to one of using Social Security no-match letters to carry out mass workplace raids and deportations of immigrant workers, disrupting families, communities and local economies across the United States, furthering employment discrimination against immigrant workers and forcing more workers into the unregulated underground economy; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) work to repeal NAFTA, CAFTA, and the 1996 Immigration Law, and to defeat the regressive immigrant legislation pending before Congress, including the Hagel-Martinez bill, or any other bill which would institute guest worker programs that would displace local workers and/or put immigrant workers and their families at the mercy of employers; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC demand the billions of dollars being spent on the apprehension, detention, deportation and other immigrant enforcement activities be diverted to create living wage jobs and expand social programs in the U.S. and in other countries negatively impacted by “free trade” policies, thereby lessening the reasons for immigration; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, go on record supporting the four principles of comprehensive immigration reform as articulated during the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride that calls for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrant workers, an immigration policy that upholds family reunification, equal protection of workers’ rights regardless of immigration status, and full civil liberty protections for immigrant workers; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC demand the Bush Administration drop all charges against humanitarian workers for providing aid to immigrants; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC shall call for an end to all ICE raids and deportations, including those based on Social Security no-match letters, and take the following actions; 1) work with immigrant rights groups to expose and stop ICE raids; 2) condemn ICE raids as racist and union-busting, and help organize protests to demand that immigrants are not punished, exploited or denied labor protections as a result of their undocumented status; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC shall forward this resolution to the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) for adoption and ask that our labor halls will be a sanctuary for immigrant workers facing persecution from ICE; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, convey the above statement of principles to the President of the United States, the Governor of Washington State, and to Washington State’s Congressional Delegation; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the WSLC begin networking with immigrant and community organizations to support and help build this growing workers’ movement and to expand and initiate campaigns to organize immigrant workers into unions.
RESOLUTION ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING
WHEREAS, finding affordable housing is becoming more and more of a crisis for working families, individuals and retirees; and
WHEREAS, working families and individuals employed in low-paying service sector jobs are, in many cases, one pay check away from homelessness; and
WHEREAS, working families and individuals earning near or just above the state median income are finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable rental housing, much less afford the purchase of a home; and
WHEREAS, in response to the deepening crisis in housing, advocates and activists in the community have long been engaged in efforts to address homelessness and to create more affordable housing; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) shall establish a special Housing Task Force to address what the labor movement, working in cooperation with housing advocates from the community, can do to address homelessness, foster the construction of affordable housing, and otherwise help remediate the affordable housing crisis; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC will invite affiliates to name a representative to serve on this Task Force, but that the WSLC will not be financially responsible for the costs associated with serving on the Task Force; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC will coordinate the Housing Task Force activities; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Housing Task Force will report back to the 2008 WSLC Constitutional Convention on recommended policy suggestions and legislative proposals embodied in one or more resolutions to the 2008 Convention; and that the Housing Task Force will be dissolved at the 2008 Convention unless the Convention votes to continue the Task Force.
MAKING INCREASED FUNDING FOR THE KING COUNTY REEMPLOYMENT SUPPORT CENTER PROGRAM A WSLC LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY IN 2008
WHEREAS, the Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council’s King County Reemployment Support Center program has served with distinction thousands of King County’s unemployed and dislocated workers since 1987; and
WHEREAS, the employees of the King County Reemployment Support Center program have been represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 8 since its inception; and
WHEREAS, the King County Reemployment Support Center program has been recognized as a “Best Practice” Rapid Response Team partner in 2000 by the United States Department of Labor, California AFL-CIO, and California State Job Training Partnership Division, in 2001/2002 by the Washington State Workforce Development Providers and in 2006 by the Washington State Employment Security Department; and
WHEREAS, the King County Reemployment Support Center program has never had an increase in funding from the Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development since its establishment by the Washington State Legislature in 1987; and
WHEREAS, the King County Reemployment Support Center program cannot continue to provide the current level of services to unemployed and dislocated workers without an increase in state funding support; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, shall make increased funding for the King County Reemployment Support Center program from the State of Washington a priority of its legislative agenda for the 2008 session of the Washington State Legislature; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, shall aggressively lobby the Washington State Legislature to include increased funding for the King County Reemployment Support Center program in the 2008 Supplemental Budget.
WHEREAS, the Human Papilloma virus (HPV) is a commonly acquired virus in men and women, and there are four HPV types that cause 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts, and these four HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18) are the types in a vaccine now available, and this virus, which men can transmit to women through as little as skin contact of the genitals, is preventable via vaccine; and
WHEREAS, HPV is contracted by nearly everyone, 80% of us are able to cleanse this virus from our system, and the other 20% of the women who have contracted this virus have a higher probability of having cervical cancer which could lead to death if not detected early; and
WHEREAS, there is currently a vaccine (named Gardasil) available for only girls and young women who are not yet sexually active (ages 9 – 26), and there will soon be a vaccine approved by the Federal Drug Administration for boys and men; and
WHEREAS, this vaccine is expensive and the dose requires three injections within a six month period and right now the costs for these injections are $125 each, plus office visits so that when both boys and girls need these cancer preventable vaccines the average family, with 2.5 children, will likely be seeing $937 plus office visits for this preventative measure; and
WHEREAS, according to the initial research by the national office of CLUW, these costs are in all likelihood covered by the HMOs as preventative care; however, there are traditional medical insurance plans that do not cover this vaccine, the office visits to obtain it or the lab tests for HPV and other research is being done to determine the extend of this non-coverage; and
WHEREAS, this action is endorsed by the Puget Sound Chapter of CLUW, SPEEA, Northwest L&PA, and Northwest Health and Wellness committees; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, supports HPV vaccinations as a way to protect the upcoming generations; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, encourages its affiliates to work with employers on providing insurance coverage for HPV vaccines, lab work and office visits associated with such for all future medical coverages; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, forward this resolution to the National AFL-CIO for adoption.
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE FACULTY AND COLLEGE EXCELLENCE (FACE) ACT
WHEREAS, because of the importance of advanced education and training to workforce development and working families, who value these opportunities for their children and their communities, and because the highest indicator of quality in education is the quality of the teacher in the classroom, AFT Washington introduced the Faculty and College Excellence Act during the 2007 legislative session as a visionary attempt to improve higher education in our state; and
\WHEREAS, versions of the FACE Act have been introduced as a national campaign in twelve states to address the academic staffing crisis in higher education; and
WHEREAS, the academic staffing crisis has a negative impact on the quality of education provided to our students, especially in the areas of retention and educational standards; and
WHEREAS, the lack of security faced by part-time faculty is a significant threat to academic freedom for all faculty, thereby damaging their ability to do controversial research or speak on controversial subjects; and
WHEREAS, the FACE Campaign addresses the Academic Staffing Crisis of Higher Education by:
- Increasing the proportion of full time, tenure track faculty
- Providing priority consideration to qualified senior part-time faculty for full time positions
- Providing enhanced job security to part-time faculty
- Providing better compensation for both full- and part-time faculty, and
- Protecting local autonomy by having each college negotiate a multi-year plan; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will continue to support AFT Washington and the higher education community in pursuing the goals of the Faculty and College Excellence Act.
RESOLUTION CONDEMNING WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL’S CONTRACTING OUT PROCEDURES
WHEREAS, the Work Force Development Council (WDC) has committed to serving Snohomish County providing services through the WorkSource program to assist folks with finding employment that provides a livable wage and benefits; and
WHEREAS, the WDC awarded a contract to Arbor, a for-profit organization, which would result in the displacement of employees at Employment Security Department and members of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), AFSCME Council 28, who receive a livable wage and benefits; and
WHEREAS, Arbor is a contractor in Southwest Washington and their failure to provide sufficient and satisfactory services in Skamania County led to Skamania County to petition for removal and realignment with counties where Arbor is not a contractor and to the restoration of the office in Stevenson, Washington, and hiring of Employment Security employees to provide services; and
WHEREAS, Arbor operates as several entities under different names and is involved in litigation regarding the provision of services and has refused to acknowledge the litigation or discuss their performance issues which caused the litigation; and
WHEREAS, there is no evidence of unacceptable performance by Employment Security or employees of Employment Security in providing employment and training services to residents of Snohomish County, nor any showing that any contractor can meet or exceed the current levels of performance by Employment Security; and
WHEREAS, the request for proposal failed to require contractors to honor existing collective bargaining agreements and recognize the employees’ rights to collectively bargain; and
WHEREAS, the scores awarded to the contractors by the subcommittee reviewing the bids are so inconsistent as to lead a reasonable person to believe that at least two of the reviewers did not understand the process or exhibited a bias against Employment Security and in favor of Arbor; and
WHEREAS, no training was provided to the committee in reviewing the RFP process, nor any criteria to determine whether or not the existing contractor should be replaced, nor any consideration given to the existence of a collective bargaining agreement between Employment Security and their employees or rights they have under that contract, the displacement of those workers and the failure of Arbor to honor the existing collective bargaining agreement; and
WHEREAS, employees at Employment Security were not allowed to speak to the WDC regarding the work they do and the continuity of their services provided; and
WHEREAS, the vote count of the vote conducted on April 17th, 2007, awarding Arbor the contract was in violation of the WDC bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order, now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, stands with WFSE members in condemning the WDC’s actions in awarding the contract to Arbor; and, be it further
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, stands with WFSE members in encouraging County Executive Aaron Reardon, as Fiscal Officer for the WDC, to not support and to overturn this decision made by the WDC; and, be it further
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, stands with WFSE members to insist the WDC re-do the RFP bid process in a fair and consistent manner and conduct their vote in accordance with their own bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order; and, be it further
RESOLVED that the WDC committee reviewing the RFP bids obtain appropriate training and recognize employee rights in the process; and, be it further
RESOLVED that the WDC investigate Arbor and the issues surrounding delivery of services, litigation and the realignment of Skamania County; 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 in this matter.
HR 676: SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE PROGRAM
WHEREAS, the American Health Care System is currently more of a social service, based upon the ability to pay rather than human need, leaving approximately 16% or (42 million people) with no health insurance, requiring them to pay for health services in full, or receive some type of charity; and
WHEREAS, the Health Care crisis continues to cut away at wages of working families during contract negotiations to simply sustain what benefits they currently have, thereby blocking middle class Americans from being able to progress or sustain the lifestyles they’ve earned; and
WHEREAS, globally all other industrialized nations offer more government provided healthcare than the United States, creating an unnecessary economic burden on society by not having more national coverage for those that need it the most; and
WHEREAS, HR 676 “single-payer” Health Coverage, sponsored by Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-MI.), is the best means to provide National Healthcare for all by expanding and improving the current Medicare system; and
WHEREAS, the single-payer health care program as introduced in HR 676, “The United States National Health Care Act,” would cover all the necessary medical care including prescription drugs, primary and preventative care, hospital, emergency services, outpatient services, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including substance abuse), dental, vision, home health and long term care; and
WHEREAS, the government would be classified as the “single-payer”, hence simplifying the system by removing health insurers and HMOs (or restricting them, under some plans) saving billions of dollars annually by eliminating deductibles and co-payments, high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, endorses HR 676, “A Single Payer Health Care Program for All,” provided that unions shall continue to have the ability to negotiate coverage for their members that exceeds the coverage provided by HR 676; and be it finally
RESOLVED that the President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, will transmit a copy of this resolution to all relevant sources in order to demonstrate its ardent support of HR 676, “A Single Payer Health Care Program for All.”
PROMOTION OF “HELMETS TO HARDHATS”
WHEREAS, the union construction apprenticeship system is a historic, worldwide model for education and training of highly skilled construction workers; and
WHEREAS, nationally there is a critical need within the construction industry for men and women with prior experience who exhibit discipline, leadership, and the ability to work in a team environment, and who are drug free; and
WHEREAS, the military service men and women returning from the United States Armed Forces have served their country with great distinction; and
WHEREAS, these returning military service men and women deserve effective and timely coordination, cooperation and assistance to return home where there is an opportunity for quick re-entry into civilian life so they may become productive citizens and pursue the American dream; and
WHEREAS, an established National model exists that includes criteria to connect military service men and women with qualified contractors who provide for direct entry into construction apprenticeship programs has been designed and implemented by the National Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO; and
WHEREAS, in the State of Washington, the existing highly-skilled union workforce of the high-demand, high-wage construction industry is committed to increase its capacity by attracting military service men and women our state-approved apprenticeship programs, and
WHEREAS, the State of Washington, through the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council, has encouraged apprenticeship programs to use direct entry for military service men and women into apprenticeship programs that they may graduate to journey level status and that they may gain an Associate Degree through the state community and technical college system, and potentially work towards a Bachelor Degree or Masters Degree in Construction Management through our state universities; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, is fully committed to the Helmets to Hardhats Program, specifically the Helmets to Hardhats Veterans Selection Procedures, and the establishment of a Helmets to Hardhats Ombuds Program in Washington State; and be it finally
RESOLVED that the President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, will transmit a copy of this resolution to all relevant sources in order to demonstrate its ardent support of identifying and assisting returning military service men and women interested in building a civilian career through apprenticeship in construction by establishment of a Helmets to Hardhats Ombuds Program in Washington State.
SUPPORT OF PREVAILING WAGE ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
WHEREAS, the first national prevailing wage law embedded in the National Eight-Hour Day Act of 1868 was designed to create safer working conditions, longer and better quality lives and an increase in the aggregate of human happiness; and
WHEREAS, in 1931, understanding the need to further stabilize local contractors and skilled workers in the construction industry, the United States federal government further established a fair system to monitor and protect local bidders and wages paid on public works construction projects by enacting the federal Davis-Bacon Act introduced by republicans who garnered strong bi-partisan support for strengthening prevailing wage laws on federal public works; and
WHEREAS, individual states have understood the United States Constitution does not allow the federal government to stipulate state construction contract requirements, 42 states have at some time enacted a state’s “little Davis-Bacon Act” as far back as 1891 in Kansas, 1894 in New York, and in 1945, Washington State’s Public Works Act was enacted to promote fair and stable local markets in public works construction for all construction workers and contractors, union and non union; and
WHEREAS, Washington and other states across the Nation are increasingly entering into an era where public and private partnerships are being formed as a mechanism to adequately fund public works construction projects; and
WHEREAS, the 2005 Legislature of Washington State passed into law the Transportation Innovative Partnership Act with bi-partisan approval further specifying the application of prevailing wage laws apply to the entire innovative partnership between public and private entities by including the language: “If public funds are used to pay any costs of construction of a public facility that is part of an eligible project, chapter 39.12 RCW applies to the entire eligible public works project”; and
WHEREAS, utilization of future innovative funding proposals for public and private partnerships can be expected to prevail in Washington’s future to construct, refurbish and rebuild the necessary projects in transportation, education, health care, energy, water, sewer and other common public investments throughout our state and across our borders; and
WHEREAS, in order to maximize the full value of public infrastructure investments, such application of public funds must recognize and continue to produce opportunities for creating livable communities through family wage jobs, education and the promotion of local hire; and
WHEREAS, since the late 19th century, payment of local prevailing wages continues to prove to stabilize the contractor and skilled labor force of a community that, in turns, reinvests in the very tax base that drives public works investment; and
WHEREAS, Washington State’s current and future growth and infrastructure needs for new, refurbished, rebuilt and maintained construction projects is unmatched in any period of Washington State’s history; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that every affiliated council and local union affiliated to the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC, AFL-CIO) place the promotion and clarifying protections of prevailing wage laws on all phases of publicly funded construction projects as a priority campaign to locally elected and appointed public leaders; and be it further
RESOLVED that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO place as priority legislation prevailing wage coverage on all public/private joint ventures and partnerships, and that all public/private projects new, refurbished, rebuilt and maintained be constructed at the established local prevailing wages for the area in which the work is performed, and at the proper rate of pay and classification of workers; and be it finally
RESOLVED that the President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, will transmit a copy of this resolution to all relevant sources in order to demonstrate its ardent support of promoting, protecting, and enforcing prevailing wage laws in all public and public/private works construction.
IN SUPPORT OF RESPONSIBLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND INDUSTRIAL PRESERVATION
WHEREAS, blue collar industrial employment is a key ingredient in maintaining family wage, middle class jobs in the Puget Sound Region; and
WHEREAS, industrial lands loss has been escalating in Seattle and other Puget Sound communities; and
WHEREAS, industrial to commercial rezoning in Ballard, South Lake Union, Interbay and the Duwamish Industrial Area in Seattle have seriously compromised those industrial sectors; and
WHEREAS, the American Life/EB-5 foreign investment program intends to turn the last large industrial tract in Seattle’s SODO district to upscale commercial real estate; and
WHEREAS, such losses threaten the Port of Seattle’s viability as a major West Coast deep water port; and
WHEREAS, American Life’s EB-5 program now intends to establish similar industrial conversions in Pierce, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the WSLC will work in cooperation with the Pierce County, Snohomish County, the Northwest Washington Central Labor Councils, the M.L. King Central Labor Council and other community partners to establish the Sound Coalition for Industrial Preservation (SCIP); and, be it further
RESOLVED, that SCIP engage in aggressive political action to stop the loss of urban industrial lands; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that SCIP call on political leaders to preserve and provide family wage industrial jobs in established urban centers.
OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO WOMEN IN ORGANIZING AND LEADERSHIP
WHEREAS, women are nearly half the workforce and are disproportionately employed in growing industries; and
WHEREAS, for the last 25 years‚ women have outpaced men as new members of unions and organizing campaigns among workforces which are a majority of women are more likely to succeed; and
WHEREAS, working women are a critical source of growth for the labor movement, yet organizing campaigns are hard to win and women sometimes have difficulty becoming involved due to both practical problems and institutional barriers; and
WHEREAS, despite the growth of women as union members‚ and the increase of women at lower levels of leadership‚ women are under-represented as leaders throughout the labor movement; and
WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO studied this issue and developed several recommendations that include actions such as focusing on issues that are a priority for working women, demonstrating to women that unions bring results, mentoring women, and measuring the effectiveness of these efforts; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council continue its commitment to working women by encouraging its affiliates to strengthen their commitment to working women by forming women’s committees within their organizations; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council work with its affiliates to gain insight on factors inhibiting women from joining unions, becoming active and gaining leadership positions; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the affiliates of the Washington State Labor Council be urged to take steps to organize women and to facilitate their involvement in the union.
WSLC LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
WHEREAS, there is a definite need to build power in Washington State’s labor movement; and
WHEREAS, labor needs to activate both leadership and rank-and-file union members; and
WHEREAS, elected union leaders need to come together for a united front to build labor power for the 2008 election cycle; and
WHEREAS, organizing is labor’s highest priority; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will convene a Leadership Summit of elected labor leaders between the time of this convention and spring of 2008.
RESOLUTION ON HEALTH CARE REFORM
WHEREAS, it is the firm belief of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and our affiliates that comprehensive and affordable health care is a fundamental human right for all people; and
WHEREAS, the Labor Movement has been negotiating for health care benefits for our members since the 1940s and these negotiations have been a key part of the collective bargaining process; and
WHEREAS, it is now clear that not only are we negotiating health care benefits at the expense of wage increases, but in many cases, we are being forced to give concessions on health care coverage because of the escalating cost of health care; and
WHEREAS, not only are we seeing erosion of our health care packages (whether through scope of coverage or cost shifting) but we are also experiencing private employers insisting that health care costs are putting them at a competitive disadvantage in the global market and public employers insisting that health care costs are driving them to contract work out to reduce the costs to the public entity; and
WHEREAS, while our members are doing better than nonunion workers, almost all workers in this country are losing ground economically because of the escalating cost of health care; and
WHEREAS, according to the World Health Organization, U.S health care outcomes are ranked 37th in the world, a less than admirable position for a country that spends twice as much per capita as any other country in the world; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that it is time to transition to de-linking health care from employment; and be it further
RESOLVED, that all Washington residents should have a common set of comprehensive and affordable benefits financed by business, government and individual residents, and administered as a single risk pool by the state. Washington residents should receive these benefits regardless of their employment status. All employers should be expected to pay a set percentage of their payroll for the health care system, as would all residents in the state, based on a sliding scale; and be it further
RESOLVED, that before this transition is complete there must be a health care financing mechanism that captures all employers. Additionally, under any reformed health care system, unions must retain the ability to collectively bargain employer payment of worker contributions and the ability to negotiate additional benefits over and above a common set of benefits; and be it further
RESOLVED, that to further the goal of achieving the basic human right of health care coverage, the WSLC and our affiliates establish the following principles that will guide us as we evaluate health care reform proposals that are being considered by state and national policy makers:
- We support comprehensive affordable health care coverage with a uniform payment mechanism resulting in reduced administrative costs and elimination of cost shifting.
- We support timely access to the most appropriate care by the most appropriate provider in the most appropriate setting. Such care shall include preventive care and current legitimate evidence based care.
- We support the development of quality outcome measurements that are available to all residents so they can make informed health care decisions.
- We support politically viable efforts that will move us toward achieving comprehensive affordable health care for all residents.
- We continue to support the expansion of the Prescription Drug Purchasing Consortium to make prescription drugs affordable through state purchasing and will support price regulation, if necessary.
- We support the development of cost containment mechanisms that do not erode the safety and quality of care. These cost containment mechanisms should include wellness initiatives and the ability for residents to take charge of their own health care outcomes and be participants in their own treatment decisions.
- Profitable corporations and companies should be stopped from shifting the costs of health care coverage for their employees to the taxpayers.
- Union members should suffer no decline in patient choice of provider or in the quality and scope of benefits received.
- Unions must retain the ability to negotiate employer payment of workers contributions and additional benefits that are not part of the common set of benefits.
- The plan being proposed should reduce the costs of health care coverage for represented workers and their employers without compromising the benefits and quality of care received.
- Development of a health care reform plan should include an effort to involve all stakeholders.
- There should be transparency in all aspects of plan development and implementation so that all residents can understand the process for administering the delivery and financing of health care in WA.
- The WSLC and its affiliates will continue to work toward a comprehensive, quality, affordable national health care system; and be it finally
RESOLVED, that these principles will serve as a guide for evaluating health care reform legislation and any proposal before the legislature and/or Congress will be measured against these principles in order to determine our support or opposition.
SUPPORT OF COWLITZ CASINO/ENTERTAINMENT CENTER
WHEREAS, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is seeking economic development projects so that their tribe can become self sufficient; and
WHEREAS, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is proposing to build a casino/entertainment center in SW Washington that is currently in the permit process; and
WHEREAS, the Cowlitz have signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council (CPBCTC) that will insure a 100% union built project using local craftsmen and craftswomen; and
WHEREAS, all union workers in Washington and Oregon should support such a progressive proposal that will have a positive impact for workers and for economic development; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, go on record in support of the Cowlitz Casino/Entertainment Center; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the passage of this resolution will authorize representatives of the CPBCTC and other Local Building and Construction Trades Councils to gather signatures in support of the Cowlitz project; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the passage of this resolution authorize the President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, to write letters of support to the Washington State Federal Congressional delegation, and any other elected officials that he deems necessary and prudent; and be it finally
RESOLVED, that the President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, will transmit a copy of this Resolution to all relevant sources in order to demonstrate its ardent support of the Cowlitz Casino/Entertainment Center.
SUPPORTING UNIONIZED COMPANIES BY URGING CITY AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO SWITCH CELLULAR SERVICE TO RESPONSIBLE PROVIDERS
WHEREAS, it is imperative that state and local governments patronize companies that adhere to the highest standards of corporate citizenship; and
WHEREAS, state and municipal governments around the country are significant institutional customers and have both the ability and responsibility to choose to do business with companies that respect workers’ rights; and
WHEREAS, the only union wireless vendor is AT&T Mobility, formerly Cingular Wireless; and
WHEREAS, other major wireless competitors have constantly opposed collective bargaining for their employees; and
WHEREAS, the telecommunications industry is one of the most visible and dynamic industries in the world, and the more attention we can bring to the success story of AT&T, the better; and
WHEREAS, it would be a tremendous boost for our members and their families if state governments make it a priority to do business with companies like AT&T that treat its workers fairly and with dignity; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the delegates to the Washington State Labor Council 2007 Convention fully commit to:
- Switch cellular service for professional and personal use to AT&T Mobility to support a union company and its workers and also save money through a discount for unions and union employees and their families;
- Reach out to city and state government officials to encourage them to switch governmental contracts for cellular service to AT&T Mobility, wherever possible when the health and safety of the employees is not compromised; and
- Inform their membership about this campaign and encourage them to switch cell phone service and advise them of a discount available to union members at AT&T Mobility through Union Privilege.
REGARDING MEMBERSHIP ON TRANSIT AUTHORITY BOARDS
WHEREAS, the membership composition of local and regional transit authorities is set by state or local statute; and
WHEREAS, the membership of transit authority boards frequently have little or no understanding of the impact of the policies they establish; and
WHEREAS, the voice of workers who actually work in the transit system can bring valuable information to the policy discussions of transit authority boards; and
WHEREAS, the input from workers intimately familiar with transit operations can provide meaningful efficiencies and cost savings; and
WHEREAS, organized labor continues to support public transportation alternatives that support communities, are cost-efficient, safe, and reliable; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO supports the purpose of SHB 2216, adding a non-voting member to the membership of transit authority boards that is recommended by the labor organization that represents the majority of the public transportation employees of the local public transportation system; and be it further
RESOLVED, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO will support legislative actions that will further this resolution; and be it finally
RESOLVED, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO will make this position known to its affiliate labor organizations.
A DIVERSE MOVEMENT CALLS FOR DIVERSE LEADERSHIP
WHEREAS, Resolution #2 was adopted at the 2005 AFL-CIO Convention; and
WHEREAS, MLK, Jr. County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, adopted Resolution #2 on June 20, 2007; and
WHEREAS, MLK, Jr. County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Diversity Committee also added amendments to Resolution #2; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will work with the AFL-CIO and its affiliates to adopt the Diversity Principles (noted below); and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will develop an affirmative action plan for diversity in hiring practices; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will encourage their affiliates to adopt the AFL-CIO Resolution on Diversity; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will encourage local affiliates to develop an affirmative action plan that would assess the local’s goals and achievements in diversity and full participation of their rank and file members; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council will create a Diversity Standing Committee, which would include people of color, women, LGBT, retirees and people with disabilities, among others, and this committee would work with the Washington State Labor Council to help develop a plan to help support Resolution #2 of the AFL-CIO.
[Name of union] commits that:
The union will work, to the maximum extent allowable by law, to promote diversity in the leadership of the union, at every level within the union structure, so that the leadership reflects the diversity of its membership. In order to accomplish this goal:
- The union will ensure that women and people of color have a voice in the direction and decisions of the union;
- Paths to leadership, including mentoring programs, training, apprenticeships, and internships, for women, people of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LCBT) workers also shall be provided; and
- The union will identify and implement other measures to promote diversity in the leadership of the union at every level, including on its governing bodies.
The union commits itself to equal employment opportunity and reaffirms the importance and benefits of a diverse workforce that is inclusive of women, people of color, and LGBT workers at all levels within the union. The union will engage in outreach, training, leadership development, and other efforts to advance these goals.
To ensure that the principle of equal pay for equal work is applied within the union without regard to gender or race, the union recommits itself to implementing pay equity at every level within the union structure. The union will identify and implement measures to promote diversity that reflects the membership of the union among delegates to the national/international union convention.
Demographic data on union members, staff, and leadership shall be collected to facilitate programs of and commitments to full inclusion set forth above.
RESOLUTION ON SAFE PATIENT CARE AND THE RIGHT TO A FAIR UNION ELECTION PROCESS
WHEREAS, the affiliates of the Washington State Labor Council believe in the right of all individuals to receive safe and quality health care; and
WHEREAS, Registered Nurses at Legacy Health Systems have long advocated for safe patient care and have long maintained that current RN staffing levels at Legacy Hospitals seriously threaten their ability to provide safe and quality healthcare for their patients; and
WHEREAS, Registered Nurses at Legacy Hospital, including Emanuel, Good Samaritan, Mount Hood, Salmon Creek, Vancouver, WA and Meridian Park all in the greater Portland area, are working together to form a union in order to have a strong and legal voice in patient care; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that affiliates of the Washington State Labor Council go on record in support of Legacy RNs right to make a democratic choice regarding union representation free from interference from management; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that WSLC affiliates call upon Legacy’s CEO, Lee Domanico, to remain neutral in United Nurses of Legacy’s upcoming union election.
RESOLUTION ON BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE
WHEREAS, workplace bullying is a form of malicious conduct where one or more employees with organizational power deliberately and repeatedly practice or perpetrate at least one of the following behaviors against a worker:
- Verbal abuse such as derogatory remarks, insults, humiliating slurs;
- Conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening or intimidating;
- Gratuitous sabotage or the undermining of a worker’s work performance;
- Deliberately falsified or unfounded negative information about a worker;
- Deliberately withholding needed information from a worker;
- Abuse of authority by painfully manipulating a worker; and/or
- Any similar deliberate and repeated behavior; and
WHEREAS, social science shows that workplace bullying follows predictable patterns ending in the debilitating illness or expulsion of a worker; and
WHEREAS, workplace bullying does not promote any employers’ legitimate business interests but negatively impacts the affected worker’s job performance and health, and also the morale, attendance, retention and productivity of the entire workforce; and
WHEREAS, civil rights legislation is inadequate to defend against workplace bullying and health problems caused by it are not normally compensable under the workers compensation system; and
WHEREAS, competent and conscientious workers have felt forced to resign by workplace bullying and some have been severely harmed by it; and
WHEREAS, social scientists show that people who have been targeted by workplace bullying commit suicide at a higher rate; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Washington State Labor Council condemns workplace bullying and calls on all employers to take necessary steps to ensure employees are protected from bullying behavior; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC shall distribute this resolution to all affiliates to better educate and prepare unions to protect and defend workers when workplace bullying occurs; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the WSLC shall transmit this resolution to Governor Gregoire and encourage the Governor to take appropriate action to ensure the state of Washington is a model employer when it comes to protecting its workers from workplace bullying.