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Clark County’s Madore pushes divisive, costly union measures

UPDATE — The Clark County Council will hold a hearing on Councilman David Madore’s anti-union resolutions at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7 at 1300 Franklin St., 6th Floor. Union members are urged to attend and pack the hearing.

Madore-DavidVANCOUVER (March 17, 2015) – Clark County unions say Councilor David Madore is setting up the county government for a costly legal ballot by pursuing anti-labor resolutions that are unenforceable and likely illegal. And union members will take that message to the council’s public meeting this morning at 10 a.m. at the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. in Vancouver.

“Money’s tight and Clark County has serious issues to address on transportation, growth management, and promoting job creation,” said Shannon Walker, President of the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “So why is David Madore pushing a divisive ideological agenda that even he acknowledges is unenforceable? What’s the point other than to waste the council’s time and taxpayers’ money?”

The two propositions, introduced by Madore, would open county agencies’ collective bargaining negotiations to the public and urge so-called “right-to-work” restrictions be placed on all county employees’ contracts. The ordinances are part of a campaign to “defund the union political machine” by the Olympia-based right-wing Freedom Foundation, which has sought similar ordinances in cities around Washington state.

The city councils of all of the targeted cities — Blaine, Chelan, Sequim, and Shelton — have rejected the proposals as illegal. Sequim City Attorney Craig Ritchie said the measures would violate several state and city laws: “They interfere with and conflict with state law… They put the Sequim taxpayers in jeopardy of paying for potential unfair labor practices.”

Subsequent legal challenges of those city council’s decisions, funded by the Freedom Foundation, have also been rejected in court, but have created substantial legal costs for the targeted cities.

Now, Madore has introduced similar proposals in Clark County.

“We strongly urge Mr. Madore to abandon this ideological campaign and focus on what Clark County’s working families need,” Walker said.  “What we don’t need is to pick pointless political fights that will waste precious tax dollars.”

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