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Trumka to keynote WSLC 2019 Convention

Union delegates from across Washington will gather July 25-27 in SeaTac


SEATAC (July 3, 2019) — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will deliver the keynote address at the 2019 Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, set for Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27 at the SeaTac DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton. Hundreds of delegates representing unions across the state will hear from Trumka and many other distinguished labor and political leaders, and chart the course for the state’s largest union organization.

Richard L. Trumka is president of the 12.5-million-member AFL-CIO. An outspoken advocate for social and economic justice, Trumka is the nation’s clearest voice on the critical need to ensure that all workers have a good job and the power to determine their wages and working conditions. He heads the labor movement’s efforts to create an economy based on broadly shared prosperity and to hold elected officials and employers accountable to working families.

Under the theme “Looking Back… Moving Forward”, the 2019 WSLC Convention will feature speakers, panels and educational workshops that commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Seattle General Strike and the Centralia Tragedy, and examine the issues and challenges facing today’s workers who want to join together in unions to negotiate a fair return on their work.

Workshops are planned on advancing a pro-worker legislative agenda, social media organizing, union-led apprenticeship and training programs, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, standing up for immigrant workers, and more.

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. Any WSLC-affiliated union may submit resolutions.


What you need to know if you are attending (or want to)


The WSLC mailed the official Convention Call to its affiliated unions back in April. Those letters indicated the number of delegates and alternates each union can have, plus other important details. Union members who are interested in representing their organization at the convention should contact their local union for information about how to serve as a delegate or alternate. Online registration is now closed. If you have questions about how to register your union’s delegates at this point, call 206-281-8901.

RESOLUTIONS — WSLC affiliates are strongly urged to submit proposed resolutions as soon as possible. Although proposed resolutions are often accepted right up until the first day of convention, please submit them as early as possible to facilitate reproduction and distribution to the convention body. See last year’s resolutions for some examples. Send them to the WSLC’s Richard Cox via email​ at



Delegates who are up early can participate in a one-hour yoga session at 6:30 a.m. The WSLC Women’s Committee will host Coffee Conversations at 7:30 a.m. and the New Delegate Workshop will begin at 8 a.m.

AGENDA — The convention plenary will convene at 9 a.m. sharp on Thursday. WSLC President Larry Brown will give opening remarks, Gov. Jay Inslee will address delegates, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will deliver the keynote address. A panel will discuss the 1919 Seattle General Strike and the Solidarity Centennial. A second panel will touch on current campaigns for justice, and delegates will also hear from state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Delegates will have lunch on their own and attend workshops in the afternoon.

COMMITTEES — Proposed resolutions are referred to committees that meet the first day of convention on Thursday afternoon. When registering, delegates can request to be appointed to serve on the Legislative, Labels & Lists, and General Resolutions committees. Delegates will be notified in advance of committee appointments, but these Thursday 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 Saturday, July 27.

C.O.P.E. BARBECUE — This popular event will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday outside the IBEW Local 77 Hall, 19415 International Blvd., which is walking distance from the Seatac DoubleTree Hotel. The 2019 COPE Barbecue will feature a special Cook-Off Challenge pitting WSLC President Larry Brown against WSLC Secretary Treasurer April Sims. This event 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 2019 COPE buttons is $20 each. For a donation of $35, delegates get both the barbecue ticket and the button.

CASINO NIGHT — A Casino Night and Texas Hold ‘Em High Roller Tournament will be held Thursday night, July 25 to benefit the Foundation for Working Families. This fun event from 8 p.m. to midnight at Maxi’s Restaurant (on the DoubleTree Hotel’s 14th floor) is open to all and will feature games and great prizes — all while helping raise money for the FWF, which helps union families facing financial hardship and crises. Download the Casino Night flier for more information about the event, sponsorship opportunities, and the Texas Hold ‘Em High Roller Tournament.



If you’re up early, join us for a one-hour WSLC Exercise Boot Camp at 6:30 a.m.

AGENDA — The convention plenary will reconvene promptly at 9 a.m. with opening remarks by WSLC Secretary Treasurer April Sims. Delegates will also hear from Kooper Caraway, President of the Sioux Falls CLC and a rising star in the national labor movement. A panel will discuss intergenerational communication. State Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz and King County Executive Dow Constantine will speak. A panel will take a look forward at organizing opportunities.

RALLY AT PROVIDENCE — In lieu of a President’s Club Luncheon at convention this year, there will be a President’s Action! At lunchtime on Friday, WSLC delegates will board buses to Renton and join hundreds of fellow union members and community supporters for a 12:30 p.m. Rally for Patients Before Profits outside the Providence corporate headquarters at 1801 Lind Ave. S.W. Organized by the WSLC, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 21, OPEIU 8, and the Washington State Nurses Association, all job titles throughout the Providence system in Washington state — nurses, nursing assistants, techs, social workers, transporters, hospice workers, pharmacists, environmental services, nutrition workers, clerks and lab workers — will gather for a massive show of unity. Together, they will deliver a message urging Providence to stop prioritizing executive pay, profits and branding over the needs of patients and frontline workers. Hot dogs will be served at the rally. Download the event flier for more information.

Rally participants from the WSLC Convention will be bused back to the hotel for another round of convention workshops that afternoon.

CONVENTION RECEPTION & BANQUET — The reception starts at 6 p.m. Friday with the banquet following at 7 p.m. at the SeaTac Doubletree Hotel. The Toucans Steel Drum Band will provide entertainment and Christian Paige will give a spoken word performance. 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 Cherika Carter to make arrangements.



Delegates who are up early can participate in a one-hour yoga session at 6:30 a.m.

AGENDA — The convention will reconvene at 9 a.m. sharp. The day’s action will include Affiliate Issues, and the consideration of resolutions and possible COPE political endorsements. The convention should adjourn around lunchtime on Saturday.

If you have specific questions about the 2019 WSLC Convention, please call Willa Kamakahi at 206-281-8901.

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