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Johnson: People rise up to defend good jobs, middle class

Following is a statement from Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, regarding Tuesday’s election results:

Yesterday’s election results demonstrated once again the power of corporate political spending and the resolve of working families to rise up and defend good jobs and the middle class.

The passage of the citizen’s veto of SB 5 in Ohio is a repudiation of the right-wing billionaire Koch brothers and their Republican political puppets. Ohio voters’ resounding vote serves notice to politicians of both parties across this country that they cannot blame our economic crisis and budget deficits on the people who provide public services. Everyday people understand that taking away collective bargaining rights from workers is an attack on our American values and sense of fair play. SB 5 was defeated through an alliance of community and labor speaking up for what is right, and for common sense.

Meanwhile, here in Washington, powerful corporate interests offered a reminder of the seamy side of politics: that elections can be bought by those who stand to profit from changing our laws. Costco spent a record $23 million to circumvent the State Legislature and privatize liquor sales in Washington. It was especially sad to see the Initiative 1183 ads offer voters the false hope that our state’s schools and public safety services will benefit from new revenue if they voted “yes.” The truth of the matter is that I-1183 does nothing to prevent the devastating state cuts being proposed today. In fact, the hidden costs of increased liquor consumption in Washington state, and false privatization “savings” of replacing good family-wage jobs with low-paid jobs, will make our state’s problems worse not better.

Thankfully, voters saw through the latest snake oil being sold by initiative profiteer Tim Eyman. The defeat of his Initiative 1125 was a recognition that selfish anti-government interests should not be allowed kill jobs and harm our state economy in the pursuit of their ideology. This is a time for Washington leaders to be advancing bold ideas on how to create jobs and pull our state out of its downward economic spiral, not a time to mire our state in transportation – and political – gridlock, and further erode faith in the public sector.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!