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Nominate members, locals for WSLC’s 2019 labor awards

SEATAC (May 6, 2019) — Each year at its annual convention, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO presents awards recognizing the efforts and accomplishments of specific union organizations and individual union members. As the deadline for award nominations approach, the WSLC is calling on its affiliated unions to submit names for consideration.

The deadline for nominations for all awards is June 1, 2019.

Following are descriptions of the awards that will be presented at the WSLC’s 2019 Convention in SeaTac on July 25-27 at the SeaTac Doubletree Hotel. (Follow the links to download nomination forms.)


The WSLC Mother Jones Award has been recognized for decades as the state labor movement’s award that recognizes our own members in their struggle for dignity and respect for all working men and women in our state. Traditionally, two awards are given, one to an individual and one to an organization. Candidates for the award will best exemplify the tradition of Mary “Mother” Jones’ immortal statement, “Mourn for the dead, but fight like hell for the living!”

In 2018, the individual Mother Jones Award went to IBEW Local 77 President Rick Johnson.

UAW 4121’s Judy Twedt (left) and Sam Sumpter accept the Mother Jones Award.

The organizational Mother Jones Award was shared by two unions that represent workers at the University of Washington: UAW Local 4121, which narrowly averted a strike and won a new contract for academic student employees while also welcoming more than 1,100 postdoctoral researchers into their ranks, and Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) Local 3488, which fought to protect the jobs of UW Medicine’s laundry workers from being contracted out.

The WSLC Economic Development and Transportation Committee reviews nominations and recommends recipients for this award to the WSLC Executive Board. If you have questions about this award, contact EDT Committee staff liaison Bill Messenger ( or 360-357-8736.


The WSLC Education, Training and Apprenticeship Committee gives an annual “Bruce Brennan Memorial Award” to the individual who has contributed the most to further the cause of apprenticeship, education and training in Washington state.

In 2018, Elmer Arter, Field Supervisor for the Apprenticeship Division of the Department of Labor and Industries was presented the Bruce Brennan Award for his extraordinary contributions to advancing education and apprenticeship.

For more information or if you have questions about this award, contact ETA Committee staff liaison Emmanuel Flores at or 360-570-5179.


The WSLC Women’s Committee presents this award for the advancement of women in leadership roles and/or for activism on behalf of women within the labor movement. The Elsie Schrader Award honors the advancement of women in leadership roles and/or for activism on behalf of women within the labor movement.

Last year, the Elsie Schrader Award went to Kamaria Hightower, a former member of the WSLC staff who was the founder of the Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders (WA YELL) and later served as Communications Director of MLK Labor before becoming Press Secretary for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

For more information about this award, see the Elsie Schrader award criteria. If you have questions about this award, contact Women’s Committee staff liaison Cherika Carter ( or 206-254-4927.


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