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Washington YELL welcomes new South Puget Sound Chapter

13-winnie-justine-newBy JUSTINE WINNIE

Labor leaders of all ages around the state respond to the vision and work of the Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders. As the cultivation of young leadership and the diversification and strengthening of the labor movement spreads through the state, voices pipe up, wanting in. The resonance of the need for smart, driven, capable successorship and a more nimble, modern movement is clear.

Riding this wave of thoughtful, hopeful growth is the new South Puget Sound YELL Chapter. Kicked off at the Washington State Labor Council’s Legislative Reception this past Wednesday, the chapter will give local union youth the chance to grow as leaders, support and enhance their locals’ work, and grow the labor movement in Washington State.

More than 60 attended the launch, gathering to hear local chapter leaders speak about their goals and plans for the new group. Comprised of a strong team of young Washington Federation of State Employees activists, the vivacious chapter leadership is clearly immersed in the culture of Olympia and has their finger on the pulse of what’s urgent today.

Brandon Anderson, Nikki Dias, Tim Tharp, Josh Elliott, and Inti Tapia spoke to the crowd of their three most important initiatives for the chapter. Ambitious from the start, their chief concerns are privatization — locally, nationally and abroad; precarious labor or the proliferation of new work conditions such as freelancing, internships and independent contracting necessitating the defense of workers’ rights; and the timely defense of the Family Medical Leave Act and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, both under attack during this legislative session.

PROOF2_YELLThe increasing reach of young workers who are coming into their own as leaders and activists heralds a reexamination of tactics and a resurgence of support for crucial working people’s issues. While preserving a unity of vision and mission throughout the state, local YELL chapters are able to address specific regional concerns, as well as utilize valuable regional advantages, relationships, and knowledge.

To learn more about the South Puget Sound YELL chapter, email Brandon Anderson. They also welcome labor activists of all ages to their first official meeting on Monday, April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Washington State Labor Council’s Olympia office, 906 Columbia Street SW, Olympia, WA, 98501.

Justine Winnie of OPEIU Local 8 is the Recording Secretary for Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders. For more information about WA YELL, visit their Facebook page.

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