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WSLC releases 2024 election endorsements

WSLC President April Sims: ‘Working people have a powerful voice that must be heard’

SEATTLE (May 18, 2024) — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the state’s largest union organization representing the interests of some 600 labor organizations with more than half a million members, held its 2024 Committee on Political Education (COPE) 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. In February, delegates overwhelmingly voted to endorse Bob Ferguson for Governor in a rare early endorsement, a testament to Ferguson’s pro-worker track record.

Washington’s labor movement is active in our electoral process because we know that elections impact lives,” said WSLC President April Sims. “Our movement is proud to endorse pro-worker candidates from every region of Washington. Working people have a powerful voice that must be heard.”

Here are the WSLC 2024 Election Endorsements made May 18. Additional endorsements may be considered at the WSLC’s 2024 Constitutional Convention on July 16-18 in Wenatchee.

Unlike corporations and business groups, organized labor has an open and democratic process for candidates and ballot measures to 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 16-to-1 on politics — labor’s endorsement and support doesn’t just come in the form of a campaign contribution.

WSLC-endorsed candidate for Governor Bob Ferguson and WSLC President April Sims at the podium addressing the delegates.

“Unlike mega-corporations and billionaires, the power of Labor’s endorsement doesn’t just come from our pocketbook; it comes from our people,” said WSLC Secretary Treasurer Cherika Carter. “Thousands of union members across Washington State are energized to urge their coworkers, neighbors, family and friends to support pro-worker candidates on the ballot. We’re ready to get to work.”

The WSLC endorsement comes with on-the-ground support form union members statewide, including household walks, worksite leafleting, and 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 candidates for Congress, Washington Attorney General, and from initiative campaigns. In addition, delegates reviewed candidate questionnaires and videos in which they described their positions on important working family issues.

For more information, see the WSLC’s Political Action web page.

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!