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Rally against WPAS union-busting Wednesday in Seattle

OPEIU 8 members who work at WPAS, Inc. conduct an informational picket outside the company office on March 2. (Click for more pictures at OPEIU 8’s Facebook page.)

SEATTLE — About 100 employees at Washington Pension Administration Service (WPAS) — members of Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8 who administer health, retirement and other benefits for many unions in the Puget Sound region — have been fighting for a fair contract for more than seven months. They’ve worn buttons, signed petitions, and hosted informational pickets to fight back against the extreme union-busting proposals from management.

Please join WPAS members and OPEIU Local 8 for a rally on Wednesday, March 22 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. outside WPAS offices at 2815 2nd Ave. in Seattle. Show your solidarity with the people who administer union benefits and send a strong message to the company’s owners that our unions — many of whom are their biggest clients and sources of profit — will not stand for this disrespect of their employees.

Here are just some of the extreme and anti-union proposals made by WPAS CEO Dennis Kirkpatrick and WPAS management:

► Ending seniority rights for layoffs, promotions, transfers, shift changes and vacations;

► Eliminating union dues deductions;

► Cutting health benefits and significantly increasing out-of-pocket costs for Local 8 members;

► Making it harder to qualify for those health benefits by increasing the eligibility requirements for part-time employees;

► Reducing paid sick leave from 12 to 7 days per year and no rollover of sick leave; and

► Slashing vacation leave by as much as 40 percent.

The M.L. King County Labor Council has strongly urged WPAS management for the “disrespectful way the company is negotiating with OPEIU 8” in a resolution urging the union clients of WPAS to send similar messages. Read the entire MLKCLC resolution here (scroll down to Feb. 1).

OPEIU 8 is inviting all to show their solidarity with WPAS workers in person by attending Wednesday’s rally. The Entire Staff of The Stand will be there to support these members of our union.

OPEIU Local 8 represents more than 6,000 members all over Washington state working in many settings including offices, health and home care, housing, social services, the insurance industry, legal services and the public sector.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!