Labor Day – Strike Solidarity
Labor Day recognizes and honors the achievements of America’s working families. This year, the annual celebration came during a critical election cycle and while teachers across Washington are on strike. In Southwest Washington, thousands of educators rallied together, creating one of the largest demonstrations of teachers and their supporters.
Labor Day is also a good time to remember who we are. The AWPPW Washington Area Council has locals and members across Washington State. Involvement in the legislative and political processes has been an important aspect of the AWPPW since the organization’s inception. The primary objectives continue to be promoting the collective interest of a higher income, better working conditions, workers’ rights, and defending labor laws.
This year, momentum continues to grow as union members and their families are recommitting to solidarity and acting to elect labor champions of working families in the general elections on November 6.
November General Election
In late September, as this article is sent for publication, AWPPW Washington Area Council delegates and officers are meeting together for a week to conduct Area Council business. Washington Area Council delegates are working in committees, hearing various reports, and listening to candidate hopefuls work- ing toward a successful election. The Council delegates have the opportunity to make endorsements on behalf of the Area Council. The endorsements of the Council may help inform members which candidates on the ballot need our support.
Ballots were to be mailed October 19 to Washington voters for the general election of November 6th. Labor campaigns continue to be underway informing union members and their families about which candidates have earned labor’s endorsement. Union volunteers are needed for phone banks and Labor Neighbor walks. Make a difference this election year in your community, so we have a government that puts people first, and prioritizes the needs of working families. Before it’s too late, contact your Area Council leaders to find out which candidates share our values.
President Trump announced his administration had finally completed the trade agreement he promised the American people. In a press conference from the Oval Office, Trump said that the United States and Mexico were going to sign a trade agreement together, and Canada could join later.
Five labor leaders Issued a joint press release on the latest North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) news stating, ”the devil is in
the details” and “Any new deal must raise wages, ensure workers’ rights and freedoms, reduce outsourcing, and put the interests of working families first in all THREE countries.”
The labor leaders included Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President; Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers (USW), International President; Gary Jones, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) President; Robert Martinez. Jr., International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; and International President Chris Shelton, Communications Workers of America President.
As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to provide these updates. The 2019 legislative session is right around the corner. Stay informed and help shape how the AWPPW Washington Area Council can make a positive impact where we live, work, and play.
— JD Rossetti
Washington Legislative & Political Director, AWPPW