Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of delegates representing unions across the state gathered virtually via Zoom on Sept. 23-25 for the WSLC’s 2020 Constitutional Convention. Under the theme “Justice, Democracy, and Our Unions,” the convention explored racial and economic justice amid the pandemic, how we can transform our unions to meet those challenges, and the importance of the 2020 elections in achieving that justice.
See the 2020 WSLC Resolutions approved by convention delegates.
Check out The Stand’s summary of the plenary sessions on Sept. 23, which featured AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler, and on Sept. 24. But here are some of the highlights from each day (follow the links to the Facebook Live archives):
● WSLC President Larry Brown (at 31:00)
● AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (at 54:12)
● Panel on Labor’s Response to COVID-19 and the Economy (1:10:05)
● Governor Jay Inslee (at 11:00)
● WSLC Secretary Treasurer April Sims (at 27:00)
● USW Int’l Vice President Fred Redmond, who is chairing the AFL-CIO Task Force on Racial Justice (at 50:55)
● Panel on WSLC’s Race and Gender Justice work (at 1:03:30)
2020 WSLC Award recipients
Each year at convention, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO presents awards recognizing the efforts and accomplishments of specific union organizations and individual union members. Here are the award winners for 2020:
BRUCE BRENNAN AWARD — Mark Martinez, Executive Secretary of the Pierce County Building & Construction Trades Council, won this award recognizing individuals who have contributed the most to further the cause of apprenticeship, education and training in Washington state.
ELSIE SCHRADER AWARD — Shaunie Wheeler James, Political Director of the Teamsters Joint Council 28, won this award from the WSLC Women’s Committee for the advancement of women in leadership roles and/or for activism on behalf of women within the labor movement.
MOTHER JONES AWARD — This award has been recognized for decades as the state labor movement’s award that recognizes our own members in their struggle for dignity and respect for all working men and women in our state. In 2020, the winners were (individual) Linda Collins, a member of the Washington Federation of State Employees and an Unemployment Insurance Intake Specialist with the Department of Employment Security, for her extraordinary efforts to assist workers who lost their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic; and (organizational) the Drivers Union of Teamsters Local 117 for winning wage and job security protections for app-based drivers in Seattle and building a voice for these “gig workers.”