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Candidates to seek WSLC support Saturday

10-COPE-ConventionSEATTLE — Hundreds of delegates representing unions from around the state will convene Saturday to decide which candidates and initiatives to endorse for this fall’s elections. The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, will hold its COPE (Committee on Political Education) Convention beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Machinists 751 Hall, 9125 15th Pl. S. in Seattle.

In the morning, delegates will hear from two panels of candidates for state Supreme Court and Congress. TVW plans live coverage. In the afternoon, TVW will turn off the cameras and delegates will vote on which candidates to support. In addition to judicial and Congressional races, delegates will take action of state legislative races and ballot measures. An endorsement requires a two-thirds majority. The results will be posted here at The Stand as soon as the convention ends on Saturday.

Unlike corporations and business groups, organized labor has an open and democratic process by which candidates and ballot measures earn union support, and rank-and-file members are encouraged to participate. Candidates seeking endorsement participate in a rigorous process that began months ago and includes questionnaires and interviews with local unions and regional Central Labor Councils. Those local union organizations then make recommendations for Saturday’s state convention to consider and vote upon.

Also unlike corporations and industry groups — which outspend unions about 15-to-1 on politics — labor’s support doesn’t just come in the form of a check. It comes in the form of volunteers who do household walks, worksite leafleting and make personal (not automated) phone calls to other voters. Plus, it includes direct mail and other forms of political outreach intended to explain why endorsed candidates and ballot measures have earned labor’s support.

Wslclogo-webIn addition to the May 10 COPE Convention, delegates will also consider endorsements at the WSLC’s 2014 Constitutional Convention to be held July 22-24 at the Coast Wenatchee Hotel and Convention Center.

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is the largest labor organization in the Evergreen State. A state federation of the AFL-CIO, the WSLC is a voluntary non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and strengthening the rights and conditions of working people and their families. There are currently more than 600 local unions affiliated with the WSLC, representing more than 400,000 rank-and-file union members working in our state.

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!