(Nov. 11, 2015) –The state’s largest labor union will soon formally join forces with the state’s largest labor organization to advocate together for Washington’s working families.
The Executive Board of the Washington Education Association (WEA) has voted to affiliate with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC) beginning in January 2016, WSLC President Jeff Johnson announced today.
“This is an historic moment for the labor movement in Washington state,” Johnson said. “At a time our unions and members continue to be assaulted by those who promote austerity, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, voter suppression, climate denial, the Uberization of the economy, and the ‘right to work for less,’ the labor movement is coming together to speak with one voice. Never has solidarity been more important in the struggle to win back economic justice and a voice at the workplace, in the community, and in politics.”
The WEA, a state affiliate of the National Education Association, represents some 85,000 teachers and education support professionals. Its mission is to help public education be the best it can be for students, staff and communities.
“WEA’s 85,000 members work and live in every community in our state, and we are excited to join our brothers and sisters in the Washington State Labor Council,” said WEA President Kim Mead. “We’ve worked side-by-side as allies for a long time. Now we’ll be an even stronger voice for workers and families in Washington state.”
Widely considered to be the “voice of labor” in our state, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is currently comprised of more than 600 local unions and trade councils, representing the interests of more than 400,000 rank-and-file union members throughout Washington state. With the addition of WEA, the WSLC will advocate on behalf of about 500,000 members.
Said WSLC President Johnson: “I look forward to our partnership with the WEA to give greater voice and fairness to teachers and classified education workers in our efforts to secure the best education for our children and to bring added strength to the struggle for progressive change for workers and our communities.”