Union Strong: Hundreds of delegates will gather July 17-19 in Wenatchee
UPDATE (July 11, 2018) — Here is the tentative agenda for the convention that begins Tuesday, July 17 in Wenatchee.
WENATCHEE (June 8, 2018) — AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler will keynote the 2018 Constitutional Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, set for July 17-19 at the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel and Convention Center. Hundreds of delegates representing unions across the state will hear from many other distinguished labor leaders, including Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) President Elise Bryant, photojournalist and labor activist David Bacon, and author/commentator Bill Fletcher, Jr.
As secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, the second-highest position in the labor movement, Shuler serves as the chief financial officer of the 12.5 million-member federation and oversees operations. She is the first woman elected as the AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer, holding office since 2009. Shuler is a former WSLC convention delegate herself, having represented Portland-based IBEW Local 125, where she worked as a union representative.
Under the theme “Union Strong,” the 2018 WSLC Convention will feature speakers, panels and educational workshops focused on staying strong amid legal and legislative efforts to take away workers’ freedom to join together in unions.
In addition, delegates will consider the resolutions that are a key part of the WSLC Convention and the organization itself. It is through the debate and passage of these resolutions that WSLC positions and policies are established. Because this year is the Constitutional Convention, resolutions can be introduced to change the WSLC Constitution and its structure and bylaws. Any WSLC-affiliated union may submit resolutions. See the resolutions approved in 2017 for examples of the diverse issues that are covered.
What you need to know if you are attending (or want to)
The WSLC mailed the official Convention Call to its affiliated unions in April. Those letters indicated the number of delegates and alternates each union can have, plus other important details. Any union member or leader interested in representing his or her union at the convention should contact their local union for information about how to serve as a delegate or alternate.
HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS — Since the Convention Call was mailed in April, rooms at the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel have already sold out. So check availability (today!) at the following nearby hotels where the WSLC held blocks of rooms:
- Comfort Suites at the Park — 509-662-1818
- Holiday Inn Express – Wenatchee — 509-663-6355
- Best Western Chieftain Inn — 509-665-8585
- Spring Hill Suites by Marriott — 877-778-1202
RESOLUTIONS — The Washington State Labor Council’s Constitution says that proposed resolutions should be submitted 30 days prior to convention — in this case, June 17. Affiliates are strongly urged to meet this deadline so proposed resolutions can be mailed to delegates, in advance, for proper consideration. That said, “late” resolutions are often accepted right up until the first day of convention and also will be considered by delegates. Affiliates who miss the June 17 deadline are urged to submit proposed resolutions at the earliest possible time to facilitate reproduction and distribution to the convention body. See last year’s resolutions for some examples. Send them to Janet Hays via email or to her attention at the WSLC, 321 16th Ave. South, Seattle, WA, 98144.
COMMITTEES — Proposed resolutions are referred to committees that meet the first day of convention on Tuesday afternoon, July 17. When registering, delegates can request to be appointed to serve on the Constitution, Legislative, Labels & Lists, and General Resolutions committees. Delegates will be notified in advance of committee appointments, but these meetings are open to all registered delegates and alternates who want to observe. The committees will review the resolutions assigned to them, consider any amendments or corrections, and will present them to the entire convention body for action on Thursday, July 19.
C.O.P.E. BARBECUE — This popular event will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 in Fountain Courtyard of the Convention center. This is a fundraiser for the WSLC’s Committee on Political Education, which works to educate union members about which candidates have earned organized labor’s endorsement, and why. The suggested donation for COPE Barbecue tickets and for the 2018 COPE buttons is $20 each. For a donation of $35, delegates get both the barbecue ticket and the button.
CONVENTION RECEPTION & BANQUET — The reception starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, with the banquet following at 7 p.m., at the Convention Center. The entertainment will include political comic Will Durst. The cost of the reception/banquet is included in the registration fee. Additional tickets can be purchased at the convention office for $50.
WOMEN’S COMMITTEE AUCTION — Each year, during the reception and banquet, the WSLC Women’s Committee holds a silent auction to raise money that funds scholarships to send rank-and-file union women to leadership conferences. Unions and individuals are urged to donate items and services NOW for this auction. Please email April Sims to make arrangements.
If you have specific questions about the 2018 WSLC Convention, please call Willa Hockley-Smith at 206-281-8901.