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Urge senators: Pass SB 5269 to promote manufacturing in WA

UPDATE (Mar. 8, 2023 ) from the Senate Democrats — Shewmake bill to promote clean manufacturing passes Senate — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Sharon Shewmake (D-Bellingham) to promote Washington state’s manufacturing sector as it transitions to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 passed the Senate on a 28-20 vote Wednesday. SB 5269 creates the Washington Clean Manufacturing Leadership Act, directing the state Department of Commerce to develop an independent assessment strategy to capture and support new and emerging manufacturing industries and strengthen our current manufacturing base in a cleaner, greener economy.


OLYMPIA (Mar. 7, 2023) — One of the priorities of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is promoting the state’s manufacturing sector. The WSLC’s Manufacturing Labor Roundtable of union leaders from diverse manufacturing sectors across the state meets regularly to advance policies that protect and grow Washington’s manufacturing base and promote high-road job creation.

One such policy is before the Legislature right now, but it needs get a vote by this Wednesday to survive a cutoff deadline.

SB 5269, sponsored by Sen. Sharon Shewmake (D-Bellingham), would study manufacturing opportunities to identify the best sectors to accelerate production of materials necessary for our state’s clean energy transition. This analysis would include the needs of current manufacturing employers, including supply chain challenges, and opportunities to attract new investments. This will help our state hone its competitive edge in industrial employment.

TAKE A STAND — Please call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and leave a message for your Washington State Senator to bring SB 5269 to a vote — and to vote “yes!”

Representatives of unions and environmental groups testified side-by-side in support of SB 5269 at its public hearings last month. They told legislators that directing the state Department of Commerce to study these issues could help preserve good jobs in Washington — and create new ones.

“Growing our green industrial economy is critical for a strong and fair economy,” said Jessica Koski, Washington State Policy Coordinator for the BlueGreen Alliance. “Manufacturing jobs are often high-wage stable jobs that are the cornerstones for families and communities. Any decline in local and domestic manufacturing hampers the middle class and contributes to already soaring income inequality.”

In a Feb. 14 letter, unions and environmental organizations urged members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee to pass SB 5269:

“Naming our state’s existing strengths and targeted areas for growth is critical for attracting new investment and maximizing the benefit of federal funding for all Washington communities. Developing a holistic, comprehensive state industrial strategy will also empower Washington to pursue its climate limits in a way that mitigates the risk of driving pollution and jobs out of state and overseas.”

SB 5269 has passed the Senate committees on Business, Financial Services, Gaming & Trade and Ways & Means. It has been on second reading in the Senate Rules Committee, awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote, since Feb. 24. If it doesn’t get one by Wednesday, time will run out.

Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and leave a message for your State Senator to support SB 5269 and bring it to a vote!


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!