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WSLC’s endorsement convention is May 19

Unlike corporations, labor VOTES on who/what deserves their support


SEATTLE — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has notified its more than 600 affiliated union organizations that its COPE (Committee on Political Education) Convention will be Saturday, May 19 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Machinists 751 Hall, 9125 15th Pl. S. in Seattle. Hundreds of delegates representing WSLC-affiliated unions from across the state will vote on endorsements for congressional, statewide, state legislative and judicial candidates, plus state ballot measures.

Unlike corporations and business groups, organized labor has an open and democratic process by which candidates and ballot measures earn union support, and rank-and-file members are encouraged to participate. Candidates seeking endorsement participate in a process that includes questionnaires and interviews with local unions and regional Central Labor Councils. Those local union organizations then make recommendations for the state convention to consider and vote upon on May 19. WSLC endorsements require a two-thirds majority vote.

Also unlike corporations and industry groups — which outspend unions about 15-to-1 on politics — labor’s support doesn’t just come in the form of a check. It comes in the form of volunteers who do household walks, worksite leafleting, and make personal (not automated) phone calls to other voters. Plus, it includes direct mail and other forms of political outreach intended to explain why endorsed candidates and ballot measures have earned labor’s support.

TAKE A STAND — You union has already been notified about the number of delegates/alternates it can send. If you are interested in representing your union as a delegate or alternate at the WSLC COPE Convention, contact your local union for more information. Check-in and registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. on May 19, the convention convenes at 8:30 a.m. and usually wraps up around 3 or 4 p.m. (but could run longer).

REGISTER ONLINE — The WSLC would like to register as many delegates as possible through online registration. Click here to register online. Please register by May 1. The online registration will serve as each union’s master credential. However, be sure to bring individual credentials mailed to your local with the convention call and signed by a union officer to the COPE Convention on May 19. Registration fee is $110 per delegate. This includes registration, materials, and lunch. You can pay online when you register, or you can mail your check to WSLC, 321 16th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98144 by Friday, May 4. If you prefer a hard copy of a registration form, please email Willa Hockley-Smith or call her at 206-254-4913.

In addition to the May 19 COPE Convention, delegates will also consider additional endorsements at the WSLC’s 2018 Constitutional Convention, which will be July 17-19 at the Coast Wenatchee Hotel and Convention Center. The convention call for that event will be sent to affiliated unions later this month.

For more information about the COPE Convention or the endorsement process, visit the WSLC’s Political Action page or call the WSLC at 206-281-8901.

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is the largest labor organization in the Evergreen State. A state federation of the AFL-CIO, the WSLC is a voluntary non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and strengthening the rights and conditions of working people and their families. There are currently more than 600 local unions affiliated with the WSLC, representing more than 450,000 rank-and-file union members working in our state.

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!