VANCOUVER (May 23, 2013) — The 2013 Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the state’s largest union organization, will be Thursday through Saturday, July 25-27 at the Vancouver Hilton Hotel and Convention Center. The WSLC’s more than 500 affiliated labor organizations, representing some 400,000 rank-and-file members across the state, have already received their convention call.
Under the theme, “Building Bridges: Labor and Community,” the convention will feature many distinguished guest speakers and educational workshops focused on organized labor’s efforts to build community coalitions to achieve broadly shared prosperity for working families. (And to build bridges… in Vancouver.) Panels will address creating environmentally sustainable jobs, comprehensive immigration reform, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and other labor-community partnerships.
In addition, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in an AFL-CIO Listening Session about the future of the labor movement. Delegates’ input will be critical this September, when the AFL-CIO — the union federation uniting more than 12 million working men and women — will convene in Los Angeles to make big decisions about new ways to help working people gain a voice. These will include new forms of representation for workers, new approaches to politics and the global economy, new community partnerships, and more.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to be a part of the evolution of the state and national labor movements! Ask your local union or council about how you can serve as a delegate or alternate to the WSLC Convention in Vancouver. Delegates can register online.
Rooms at the Vancouver Hilton, the only unionized hotel in the city, were sold out shortly after the convention call was mailed to affiliated unions. However, a block of rooms are also being held until June 23 at the nearby Red Lion Vancouver at the Quay, 360-694-8341. There may not be many of those left, so call today!
The Washington State Labor Council’s Constitution says that proposed resolutions should be submitted 30 days prior to convention (in this case, June 25). However, “late” resolutions are routinely accepted right up until the first day of convention and also will be considered by delegates. Affiliates are urged to submit these resolutions at the earliest possible time to facilitate reproduction and distribution to the convention body.
These resolutions are a key part not just of the WSLC Convention, but of the organization itself. It is through their debate and passage that WSLC positions and policies are established. Any WSLC-affiliated union may submit resolutions. See the resolutions approved in 2012 for examples of the diverse issues that are covered. The resolutions are first referred to various committees that will meet Thursday afternoon and consider whether to recommend changes or corrections. Debate and voting on the resolutions, and any committee amendments, will take place Saturday.
This convention is a great opportunity for union officers, staff and rank-and-file delegates to hear from political and labor leaders, attend informative workshops, develop relationships with other unions — and have some fun. The action actually begins on Wednesday, July 24. In addition to the actual agenda of the plenary sessions and workshops, special convention events include:
10th Annual WSLC Golf Invitational
Delegates who plan to attend the convention should make plans to come a day early on Wednesday, July 24 for the 10th Annual WSLC Golf Invitational hosted by the WSLC, Labor 1992 Corp., Foundation for Working Families, and Union Home Services. It will be held at the Camas Meadows Golf Course, which is a 20-minute drive from the Vancouver Hilton. Download the tournament brochure for more info, including sponsorship opportunities and registration.
All tournament proceeds benefit the Foundation for Working Families disaster relief funds, as well as community service agencies in Washington State. This past year, the Foundation helped many union members and their families facing serious hardships and there is a great need to rebuild those funds for members in need. Not a golfer? Please consider donating to the Foundation for Working Families by sending your generous tax-deductible contributions to the Foundation for Working Families, c/o the Washington State Labor Council, 906 Columbia St. S.W. #330, Olympia, WA, 98501. For more information, call the Foundation for Working Families at 360-570-5169.
“Tools of the Trade” exhibit
The Southwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, has been working with the Clark County Historical Museum for months to bring labor’s history in Southwest Washington to light and to the public. The museum will open an exhibit on July 11 entitled “Tools of the Trade: A History of Labor in Southwest Washington,” which will be on display for 18 months. (Learn more about exhibit sponsorship opportunities.)
In conjunction with the WSLC Convention, an open house at the exhibit will be hosted by Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders (WA YELL) from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 24 — see the event flier — which is the evening preceding the start of the convention.
Women’s Committee Auction
The WSLC Women’s Committee holds a silent auction every year during the annual convention to raise money for scholarships for rank-and-file women to attend various labor-oriented institutes and schools throughout the summer months. This year the scholarship fund will be able to send five women to the 32nd Annual Western Regional Summer Institute for Union Women being held this year at the University of Washington in Seattle. This summer school offers a series of in-depth courses, workshops, and other useful information.
The Women’s Committee is seeking donations of union memorabilia, goods and services that can be offered at this year’s silent auction to raise money for these important scholarships. For further details or if you have questions, email Kairie Pierce or call her at 360-570-5167.
WSLC Standing Committees also present awards at the annual convention for distinguished service. Nominations for those awards are now being accepted. See these previous stories for more information about each award:
Name nominations for Mother Jones awards (deadline July 1)
Nominees sought for 2013 Bruce Brennan apprenticeship award (deadline June 7)
Women’s Committee seeks awards nominees (deadline June 1 for Elsie Schrader Award)
There are other great events planned in conjunction with the WSLC’s 2013 Convention, including of course, the COPE Barbecue where delegates can meet and mingle with lawmakers and candidates. Contact your local union about serving as a delegate or alternate, and come see for yourself!
For more information, call the WSLC Seattle office at 206-281-8901.