The Washington State Labor Council distributed the following press release:
OLYMPIA (Feb. 9) — Emphasizing the importance of this fall’s elections, hundreds of Washington State Labor Council delegates from unions across the state gathered Thursday and voted to endorse Jay Inslee for Governor, Bob Ferguson for State Attorney General, and Maria Cantwell for re-election as U.S. Senator. The WSLC is the state’s largest union organization, representing the interests of more than 600 local unions and 400,000 rank-and-file union members in the state.
“This election is incredibly important because working people continue to suffer the consequences of the reckless greed of Wall Street bankers and public policies that benefit only the top one percent,” said WSLC President Jeff Johnson. “We need to support candidates who want to rebuild an economy in which everybody prospers and where workers are allowed to have a voice at work.”
Thursday’s endorsements were made months in advance of the WSLC’s usual political endorsement convention in May. At that meeting, delegates will again gather to endorse candidates for other statewide offices, judicial races and State Legislature.
Rep. Jay Inslee and Sen. Maria Cantwell were both in Washington, D.C., to participate in some key Congressional votes so they could not attend Thursday’s WSLC Conference. Upon hearing the outcome of the vote, Inslee immediately sent his thanks to delegates and vowed to work alongside them achieve his No. 1 goal as governor: creating jobs.
“I thank the hard-working men and women of the Washington State Labor Council for their early support,” Inslee said. “With nearly 300,000 of our neighbors and friends still out of work and thousands more struggling to pay the bills, I am committed to working hard every day to create the good-paying jobs that will help working families get back on their feet, put our economy back on track and rebuild a strong middle class. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together for Washington’s working families!”
It is the Inslee campaign’s focus on job creation that inspired delegates to declare early support for his campaign for governor. Plus, in an era when collective bargaining rights are under attack in states across the nation, Inslee has been a strong and consistent supporters of protecting workers’ freedom to choose whether they want to form a union. He has also consistently voted with working families’ interests to protect labor standards, including the minimum wage, overtime pay, prevailing wage, and workplace safety.
Bob Ferguson, a King County Councilmember since 2004, earned labor’s support for his effective advocacy for working families as Chair of the Council’s Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. His work has focused on public safety and improving the criminal justice system. Now, Ferguson is a candidate for Attorney General.
Cantwell was praised as a strong advocate for protecting Social Security and Medicare, expanding access to affordable health care, collective bargaining rights, and protecting labor standards. She is running for a third term as Washington’s U.S. Senator.