By JEFF JOHNSON
(Oct. 21, 2014) — I want to take a moment and thank a young, forward-thinking labor leader who walks and talks labor solidarity.
Dave Myers has left the position of Executive Secretary of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO and has accepted a position as an International Representative for the Electrical Workers (IBEW). Dave begins his new position this week representing IBEW members in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Dave was appointed to lead the WSBCTC in September 2011 and then was elected to a three-year term in July 2012. He came to the job with experience as the principal officer of IBEW Local 970, holding office in the Cowlitz-Whakiakum Central Labor Council, and the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council.
I first met Dave over a lunch in Longview in 2011 where I was gauging his interest in running for the State Legislature from the 19th Legislative District. While he had some interest, what became clear to me was we had a young labor movement leader that we needed to keep in the movement.
Dave has an expansive view of the labor movement. He knows that we have to stand tall for all issues important to working people, educate our local union members about the issues important to other unions, and to engage the community in joint efforts to win economic justice for workers.
Dave took a prominent role in the ILWU Local 21 struggle with the multinational grain company EGT. He knew that it would take community support to win this struggle and that’s exactly what he helped create.
When Dave was appointed Executive Secretary of the WSBCTC he brought this same drive and passion with him. He became an active member of the United Labor Lobby, supporting union issues across the board and helping to develop and support the labor’s legislative agenda — “Shared Prosperity Agenda.” He jumped at the chance to help build our labor education infrastructure and our capacity to reach non-union members through the work of Working America.
In a very short period of time, Dave was able to establish himself as a leader in the building trades as well a leader in the labor movement and he became well respected by legislators in Olympia.
I have enjoyed working with Dave these last few years. I have appreciated his leadership, his friendship, his openness to ideas, and his loyalty to the labor movement. While I wish him the best success in his new position, I will miss working closely with him on a day-to-day basis on so many issues important to union members.
Jeff Johnson is President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the largest labor organization in the Evergreen State, representing the interests of more than 500 local unions and 400,000 rank-and-file union members.