WSLC’s 2016 Legislative Report, labor voting record now available
OLYMPIA (May 20, 2016) — As rank-and-file delegates representing unions across the state gather this weekend to decide which candidates deserve labor’s support, a new report outlining the “logjam in Olympia” on working families’ issues explains why elections matter.
The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO released its 2016 Legislative Report today. This 8-page tabloid summarizes this year’s legislative session(s) of the State Legislature, describes the fate of 2016 legislation, and includes the annual WSLC House and Senate voting records, which are published each year so union members can understand how their elected representatives voted on issues that affect their jobs, wages, and working conditions.
Those voting records, along with candidate questionnaires and interviews that have been conducted by regional AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils across the state, will be put to good use this Saturday, May 21. The WSLC Convention COPE (Committee on Political Education) Convention begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Machinists 751 Hall, 9125 15th Pl. S. in Seattle. Convention delegates will vote on WSLC endorsements for congressional, statewide, state legislative and judicial candidates, plus state ballot measures.
The WSLC’s 2016 Legislative Report describes multiple efforts to make our state a better place to live and work. Unfortunately, partisan political divisions in our state government have blocked most of those efforts.
From holding corporations like Boeing accountable for the tax breaks they get, to funding our public schools and colleges, to making sure our jobs are safe, positive legislative efforts to address critical issues are caught in a logjam. Many pass the Democratic-controlled House and are killed in the Republican-controlled Senate. Similarly, legislative attacks that would lower wages, weaken the safety net for injured workers, and make it harder to reform our broken revenue system pass the Senate but die in the House.
“Neither party always does the right or wrong thing for working families,” reads the report summary. “But as you’ll read in this report shows that these patterns keeps repeating on issues that working people care about. The end result: Washington D.C.-style politics are blocking progress in our Washington. But we can’t withdraw in cynicism. Organized labor has a long, proud history of proactively advocating for justice and fairness for all workers. So read this report, study what happened in Olympia this year, learn how individual legislators voted, and you’ll be reminded why elections matter.”
The WSLC is the largest labor organization in the state, representing some 600 affiliated union organizations and some 450,000 rank-and-file members across the Washington state.