SEATAC (Aug. 4, 2015) — Every year, hundreds of delegates representing the unions from around the state that comprise the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO meet to discuss, debate and approve resolutions that guide the WSLC’s policies and priorities in the coming year. This year was no exception as the WSLC’s 2015 Resolutions were approved on a variety of subjects ranging from apprenticeship to climate change to railroad safety.
Check out The Stand’s reports on the Thursday and Friday-Saturday plenary sessions, which includes links to TVW coverage of the 2015 Convention held July 23-25 at the SeaTac DoubleTree Hotel. Deliberation and voting on resolutions occurred Saturday, July 25 and is not open to the press or recorded by TVW.
Among the 2015 resolutions were:
Resolution 12, a sweeping measure on issues of race, which calls on WSLC President Jeff Johnson take specific steps to tackle the issue of institutional racism both within and outside the labor movement. Those steps will include engagement with the NAACP, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Washington Christian Leaders Coalition.
Resolution 15 on “Congressional Accountability,” which calls for the formal censure of members of Washington’s Congressional delegation who voted for “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority or who vote in support of the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. It also calls for those votes to be “heavily weighted in the WSLC and affiliated union endorsement deliberations.”
Resolution 28 on “Climate and Jobs,” another sweeping measure that resolves:
(The WSLC) go on record supporting Washington State’s 2008 science based carbon emission reduction goals, by or before the dates set in statute, in order to do our part to lower carbon emissions and to reverse climate change while adhering to the principles of this resolution regarding protecting fossil fuel dependent workers during the transition to a renewable energy economy, using an equity lens to evaluate carbon policies, reinvesting carbon revenues in ways that protect and support workers and vulnerable populations, investing in repairing our infrastructure and building the renewable energy economy, using domestic content whenever available, creating an economic and environmental justice board, and providing a truly “Just Transition” (for workers whose jobs are lost due in the transition to a renewable energy economy).
Other resolutions included support for I-735, an initiative to the Legislature that aims to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that money is not speech and corporations are not people (reversing Citizens United); support for repeal or amendment of I-200, which banned Affirmative Action in Washington state; actively opposing the secretly funded Freedom Foundation and its campaign to promote so-called “right-to-work” legislation in Washington state at all levels on government.
Delegates also voted to oppose Tim Eyman’s latest measure, I-1366, which would cut the state sales tax by a full percentage point — resulting in a loss of $1 billion at a time our schools are already underfunded by billions — unless the Legislature changes the State Constitution to require two-thirds super-majority votes to raise taxes.
Many resolutions reaffirmed the WSLC’s existing positions, such as opposing the privatization of prisons in Washington; supporting legislation to raise the minimum wage and allow all workers to earn paid safe and sick leave; to support the creation of a state bank; supporting simple-majority passage of school construction bonds; support efforts to fix Washington’s most unfair tax system in the nation so that the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share to ensure proper funding of public services; and support for establishing accountability for aerospace tax incentives in Washington.
There are many other important resolutions approved in 2015, some of which that the WSLC has already begun taking action upon. Read them all here.