Urge Gov. Gregoire to veto union-busting section of ferry bill

UPDATE: This action has expired. Gov. Gregoire signed the bill decertifying the union.

The Legislature passed ESSB 5742, a revenue bill for the Washington State Ferries system. However, it includes a provision that effectively decertifies the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, ILA/AFL-CIO as the exclusive bargaining representative of the Captains working for the ferry system. The legislation further provides that if the Captains want to be represented, they have to go through an election process again. Section 8 of this legislation is union busting and should be vetoed.


“Gov. Chris Gregoire relied upon union support in her election and needs to stand firm against this clearly anti-union legislation,” wrote the leaders from five unions representing ferry workers. “If the Legislature and Governor condone the anti-union attacks set forth in this legislation rest assured MM&P will not be the last union to face such a blatant disregard for workers’ rights and legislative decertification.”

CALL TO ACTION: Please call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and encourage Gov. Gregoire to veto Section 8 of ESSB 5742. The following point needs to be made:

  • Section 8 is union busting and violates the constitutional right of freedom of assembly and association.

Also, ferry workers’ unions are asking all union leaders and labor organizations to write to the Governor to ask her to veto this section of the bill.

  • This legislation represents an attempt to dictate union membership contrary to existing procedures.
  • It constitutes union-busting and creates an unprecedented process for union selection. There are existing rules for unit clarification.
  • This legislation violates the constitutional right of freedom of assembly and association. When the legislature can decide to carve a section of membership out of a duly elected and certified union, employees are unable to freely select their representation.

Thank you for your efforts in preserving unionization for Washington’s state employees.

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