Washington’s largest union organization votes on ballot recommendations
SEATTLE (May 22, 2022) — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO — the state’s largest union organization representing the interests of some 600 labor organizations with more than 550,000 members — held its 2022 Committee on Political Education (COPE) Endorsing Convention on Saturday at the Machinists District 751 Hall in Seattle.
Hundreds of delegates representing WSLC-affiliated unions from across the state voted on endorsements for congressional, statewide, state legislative and judicial candidates, plus state ballot measures. Here are the WSLC 2022 Election Endorsements made May 21. Additional endorsements will be considered at the WSLC’s 2022 Constitutional Convention on July 19-21 in Wenatchee.
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. WSLC endorsements require a two-thirds majority vote.
Also unlike corporations and industry groups — which outspend unions about 24-to-1 on politics — labor’s endorsement and support doesn’t just come in the form of a campaign contribution. It comes in the form of volunteers who do household walks, worksite leafleting, and make personal (not automated) phone calls to other voters, particularly fellow union members. It also includes direct mail and other forms of political outreach intended to explain why endorsed candidates and ballot measures have earned labor’s support.
Before voting at Saturday’s COPE Convention, delegates heard from panels of candidates for Congress and Secretary of State. In addition, delegates reviewed candidate questionnaires and videos in which they describes their positions on important working family issues.
For more information, see the WSLC’s Political Action web page.