September 29: Picket the Union-busting Freedom Foundation!

14462939_1213505705387634_3994270768571542523_n-1Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS) is organizing a picket of the Freedom Foundation’s annual fundraiser on September 29, from 5-7pm in front of the Bellevue Westin at NE 6th Street and Bellevue Way NE. The ML King Jr. County Labor Council, Carpenters Local 30, Washington Federation of State Employees Local 304, and Coalition of Black Trade Unionists have endorsed. Labor and community groups are invited to endorse and participate.
The Freedom Foundation’s racist rightwing agenda openly declares its goal is to “defund and bankrupt public employee unions.” OWLS is organizing the picket to defend the labor movement and public services, and to raise public awareness around the anti-worker agenda of the Freedom Foundation.
 
The Foundation’s keynote speaker is fast-food billionaire Andrew Puzder, who was Donald Trump’s first pick for Secretary of Labor.  The former CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, etc.), is well known for his opposition to minimum wage laws and other worker protections.  He had this to say about replacing his workers with robots: “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex or race discrimination case.”
 
This year the Freedom Foundation has continued efforts to make Washington a “right to work” (for starvation wages) state, and to roll back recent minimum wage increases and other labor gains. The Foundation recently filed lawsuits to stop the City of Seattle’s proposed tax on high income earners, and to prevent unionization of Uber and Lyft drivers. 
The picket aims to loudly denounce the fundraiser and expose the think tank’s agenda and shared goals with big business and wealthy conservative groups, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and National Right to Work Foundation. Goals include gutting wage, labor, and antidiscrimination legislation, removing environmental protections, reducing LGBTQ and women’s rights, and blocking any tax on wealth to fund public services,
To endorse the picket, or for more information, call 206-949-4552 or 206-261-1420, or email OWLS at OrganizedWorkersls@gmail.com

Janus vs. AFSCME – The War on Workers heads to the U.S. Supreme Court

OWLS takes an in-depth look at the so-called “Right to Work” lawsuit, Janus vs. AFSCME. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide to hear this lawsuit as soon as late September.

Sponsored by the National Right to Work Foundation, Janus seeks to overturn a landmark legal ruling, AboodBelshawsolidarity618, and make anti-labor “open shop” laws the rule of the land for all public sector unions.
At stake is the well-being not only of government employees, but also of public services, from schools to public transit and healthcare.

In states where “open shop” laws are already on the books, unionization rates are lower and workers ability to bargain for better wages and conditions is weakened. Come learn about what’s at stake for the entire working class, and join the discussion on how best to fight back against this latest attack.

Tuesday, July 25th,
7:00 PM
Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 First Ave., Hall #6

For more information call 206-261-1420 • Write PO Box 9027 Seattle, WA 98109.

MAY DAY – en Espanol

Estimados activistas laborales y comunitarios,
Todos estamos alarmados por la escalada de ataques contra inmigrantes, refugiados y musulmanes, así como por las amenazas a nuestros derechos civiles y laborales. En respuesta, nuestro sindicato, el Local 304 de la Federación de Empleados del Estado de Washington (WFSE, según siglas en inglés), aprobó la resolución adjunta que apoya la organización de una huelga general el 1 de mayo de 2017.
La resolución describe cómo tal huelga puede unir a los trabajadores para enfrentar múltiples ataques de Trump y de la derecha. Organizaciones de derechos de los inmigrantes están movilizando a sus comunidades a nivel nacional para una huelga general, y debemos estar con ellos.
Por favor, comparte la resolución con los miembros de tu sindicato o comunidad y, si es posible, brinda tu apoyo a esta resolución o aprueba otra similar en tu organización. Claramente, ahora es el momento de unirse y luchar como nunca antes.
En la solidaridad,
Steve Hoffman
Secretario del Registro
WFSE 304
stevhoff@earthlink.net, 206-915-1910

A favor de una huelga general el Día del Trabajo de 2017 para defender los derechos laborales, de inmigrantes y civiles

CONSIDERANDO que el gobierno de Trump ha iniciado inmediatamente el cumplimiento de sus promesas de intolerancia al atacar inmigrantes, refugiados y musulmanes con prohibiciones de viaje y redadas de ICE; y
CONSIDERANDO que millones de jóvenes y trabajadores de todo el país han protestado enérgicamente contra las políticas del Presidente, siendo la marcha de las mujeres el primer día de su presidencia una de las mayores manifestaciones en la historia de los Estados Unidos; y
CONSIDERANDO que los sindicatos, un blanco primordial de la derecha, enfrentan la amenaza real de la legislación de Derecho a Trabajar (con menos sueldo), la cual ya se discutió en una audiencia en la legislatura del estado de Washington y que el Congreso controlado por los republicanos está considerando, y que los sindicatos del sector público pronto podrían ver un fallo de la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos que diezmaría su derecho de negociación colectiva; y
CONSIDERANDO que la agenda de la derecha ha incluido durante mucho tiempo la ruptura de los sindicatos, la eliminación de la red de seguridad social, la privatización de la educación pública, la eliminación de las leyes ambientales, la desregulación de la banca y otras industrias, la militarización de la policía, la guerra interminable y el debilitamiento de las protecciones civiles, y el hecho de que los nominados al gabinete por Trump piensan continuar con esta agenda reaccionaria; y
CONSIDERANDO que las organizaciones nacionales de derechos de los inmigrantes están solicitando movilizaciones nacionales en “Un Día Sin Inmigrantes” el 1 de mayo de 2017; y
CONSIDERANDO que la historia ha demostrado que las huelgas han sido el arma más efectiva en el arsenal laboral y que las mociones que apoyan una huelga general para el 1 de mayo, el Día Internacional de los Trabajadores, han sido aprobadas por la Seattle Education Association y UAW 4121, la cual representa a los empleados/estudiantes académicos de la Universidad de Washington;
POR LO TANTO, SE RESUELVE que la Sección 304 de la Federación de Empleados del Estado de Washington (WFSE) respaldará el movimiento para una huelga general el 1 de mayo de 2017 e insta a sus filiales estatales y nacionales, WFSE y AFSCME a trabajar con otros sindicatos, trabajadores mal remunerados y grupos comunitarios para organizar una huelga de alcance nacional; y
SE RESUELVE ASIMISMO que las demandas de la huelga general serán:
Parar los ataques de Trump contra inmigrantes, musulmanes y refugiados;
Defender los sindicatos – detener las leyes de Derecho al Trabajo, derogar la Ley Taft Hartley;
Conseguir la igualdad para todos – combatir la discriminación contra las mujeres, los trabajadores de color y las personas LGBT, y apoyar la igualdad de las mujeres exigiendo igual salario por trabajo igual, derechos reproductivos integrales y cuidado gratuito de niños;
Empleos para todos a través de la reconstrucción de la infraestructura y los programas de empleo público;
Derrotar los intentos de destruir la red de seguridad social, incluida la asistencia sanitaria subvencionada; y
SEA FINALMENTE RESUELTO que esta resolución sea ampliamente compartida con los sindicatos, los consejos laborales centrales y la comunidad, con el fin de ayudar a generar un amplio apoyo para una huelga general el primero de mayo.
Aprobado en la reunión de miembros generales de la WFSE 304 el 23 de febrero de 2017.

________________________________________
Ty Pethe, Presidente WFSE 304
________________________________________
Steve Hoffman, Secretario del Registro WFSE 304
stevhoff@earthlink.net, 206-915-1910

Dear labor and community activists,
We are all alarmed by the escalating attacks on immigrants, refugees, and Muslims, as well as the threats to our civil and labor rights. In response, our union, the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) Local 304, passed the attached resolution supporting the movement for a general strike on May Day 2017.
The resolution describes how such a strike can unite working people to confront multiple attacks by Trump and the right wing. Immigrant rights organizations are mobilizing their communities nationally for a general strike, and we must stand with them.
Please share the resolution with members of your union or community, and if possible endorse it or pass a similar one in your organization. Clearly, now is the time to unite and fight like never before.

In solidarity,
Steve Hoffman
Recording Secretary, WFSE 304
stevhoff@earthlink.net, 206-915-1910

For a May Day 2017 General Strike to defend labor, immigrant, and civil rights
WHEREAS the Trump administration has wasted no time in fulfilling Trump’s bigoted campaign promises by attacking immigrants, refugees, and Muslims with travel bans and ICE raids; and
WHEREAS millions of youth and working people across the nation have vigorously protested the President’s policies, with the Women’s March on the first day of his presidency being the largest demonstrations in U.S. history; and
WHEREAS unions, a prime target of the right wing, face the real threat of union-busting Right to Work (for less) legislation, which has had a hearing in the Washington State legislature and is being considered by a Republican controlled U.S. Congress, and public sector unions could soon see a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would decimate their collective bargaining rights; and
WHEREAS the right wing agenda has long included breaking unions, gutting the social safety net, privatizing public education, eviscerating environmental laws, deregulating banking and other industries, militarizing the police, waging endless war, and weakening civil rights protections, and Trump’s Cabinet appointees indicate that they plan to follow this reactionary agenda; and
WHEREAS national immigrant rights organizations are calling for “A Day Without an Immigrant” national actions on May 1st, 2017; and
WHEREAS history has shown that strikes have been the most effective weapon in labor’s arsenal, and motions supporting a general strike on May Day, the international workers’ holiday, have been passed by the Seattle Education Association and UAW 4121, which represents academic student employees at the University of Washington;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) Local 304 support the movement for a general strike on May 1st, 2017, and urge its state and national affiliates, WFSE and AFSCME, to work with other unions, low-paid workers, and community groups to organize a strike that is national in scope; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the demands of the general strike will be:
Stop Trump’s attacks on immigrants, Muslims, and refugees;
Defend unions – stop Right to Work laws, repeal the Taft Hartley Act;
Equality for all – fight discrimination against women, workers of color, and LGBT people, and support women’s equality by demanding equal pay for equal work, full reproductive rights, and free childcare;
Jobs for all through rebuilding the infrastructure and public jobs programs;
Defeat attempts to destroy the social safety net, including subsidized healthcare; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this resolution be shared widely with unions, central labor councils, and the community in order to help build widespread support for a general strike on May Day.
Passed at the general membership meeting of WFSE 304 on February 23rd, 2017.
______________________________________
Ty Pethe, President WFSE 304
______________________________________
Steve Hoffman, Recording Secretary WFSE 304
stevhoff@earthlink.net, 206-915-1910

LET’S TALK GENERAL STRIKE

OWLS Special Meeting
Tuesday, March 28, 7pm

A growing number of immigrant rights organizations and unions are organizing mass actions for May 1st, the International Workers Holiday. Following the February 17 protests of tens of thousands of workers against ICE raids and harassment of undocumented labor, refugees, and Muslims, many are calling for a May 1st General Strike.
Join the discussion on what is happening. How can the working class build for a successful May Day? What should the demands be? Speakers include Anna Hackman, co-chair of the May 1st Action Coalition, and Steve Hoffman of Wash. Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 304, one of several unions to pass a resolution calling for a general strike (See www.organizedworkers.org for a copy).

Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 First Ave., Hall #6 (on Metro routes 1, 2, 13)

For a May Day 2017 General Strike

The following resolution was passed by Washington Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees (WFSE) Local 304. Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity supports this resolution and is devoting its March 28th meeting (Seattle Labor Temple, 7pm) to a discussion on how to build support for the sentiments expressed below. Other unions in Seattle and across the U.S. have also passed resolutions in support of mass action around May Day, in defense of immigrant and workers rights. A link at the bottom provides a pdf of this resolution.

FOR A MAY DAY 2017 GENERAL STRIKE TO DEFEND LABOR, IMMIGRANT, AND CIVIL RIGHTS

WHEREAS the Trump administration has wasted no time in fulfilling Trump’s bigoted campaign promises by attacking immigrants, refugees, and Muslims with travel bans and ICE raids; and
WHEREAS millions of youth and working people across the nation have vigorously protested the President’s policies, with the Women’s March on the first day of his presidency being the largest demonstrations in U.S. history; and
WHEREAS unions, a prime target of the right wing, face the real threat of union-busting Right to Work (for less) legislation, which has had a hearing in the Washington State legislature and is being considered by a Republican controlled U.S. Congress, and public sector unions could soon see a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would decimate their collective bargaining rights; and
WHEREAS the right wing agenda has long included breaking unions, gutting the social safety net, privatizing public education, eviscerating environmental laws, deregulating banking and other industries, militarizing the police, waging endless war, and weakening civil rights protections, and Trump’s Cabinet appointees indicate that they plan to follow this reactionary agenda; and
WHEREAS national immigrant rights organizations are calling for “A Day Without an Immigrant” national actions on May 1st, 2017; and
WHEREAS history has shown that strikes have been the most effective weapon in labor’s arsenal, and motions supporting a general strike on May Day, the international workers’ holiday, have been passed by the Seattle Education Association and UAW 4121, which represents academic student employees at the University of Washington;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) Local 304 support the movement for a general strike on May 1st, 2017, and urge its state and national affiliates, WFSE and AFSCME, to work with other unions, low-paid workers, and community groups to organize a strike that is national in scope; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the demands of the general strike will be:
Stop Trump’s attacks on immigrants, Muslims, and refugees;
Defend unions – stop Right to Work laws, repeal the Taft Hartley Act;
Equality for all – fight discrimination against women, workers of color, and LGBT people, and support women’s equality by demanding equal pay for equal work, full reproductive rights, and free childcare;
Jobs for all through rebuilding the infrastructure and public jobs programs;
Defeat attempts to destroy the social safety net, including subsidized healthcare; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this resolution be shared widely with unions, central labor councils, and the community in order to help build widespread support for a general strike on May Day.
Passed at the general membership meeting of WFSE 304 on February 23rd, 2017.
________________________________ ___________________________________
Ty Pethe, President Steve Hoffman, Recording Secretary
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RALLY ON PRESIDENT’S DAY – FEB. 20th

Rally for Labor, Civil Rights, & Economic Justice!
President’s Day, Monday February 20, Olympia, 11 am

The Washington State Labor Council, public-sector unions, and Civil Rights organizations are leading the call for a rally in Olympia to demand tax reform, full funding for education and social services, revived affirmative action, police accountability, and more. OWLS is organizing a contingent for “Taxing the Rich,” and building a powerful community-labor coalition to confront anti-labor attacks.

The Day includes an occupation of the Capitol Halls. Bring your voice, wear your union colors, and spread the word! Be a part of pushing back
and reviving labor’s fighting spirit.

Carpools will leave Seattle at 8:30am. Carpool with OWLS from Seattle or Tacoma, call 206-261-1420.

A Worker’s Guide to the 2017 Legislature

OWLS MEETING – TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 7pm

Donald Trump’s political counterparts in the state Legislature are gearing up to attack organized labor. In the hopper is a bill to enact “right-to-work” for less. In other states, such laws have lowered working conditions and wages – which is why bosses are determined to pass it here. Also, state public employees are gearing up to defend services, education, and their livelihoods. OWLS discusses plans to counter these anti-labor attacks.

Also featured, an update on inauguration protests, and the struggle to build labor support for Standing Rock and the movement to protect water and defend native sovereignty.

SEATTLE LABOR TEMPLE, 2800 FIRST AVE., HALL 6

Labor-community Picket Spotlights Ultra-right Freedom Foundation

14448957_1213505445387660_5860610872246504601_n14484612_1213505448720993_4653602086138767240_n-114462939_1213505705387634_3994270768571542523_n-1“When our unions are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” This was the chant from nearly a hundred activists greeting anti-union attendees at a Freedom Foundation fundraising banquet last Friday.
Amidst rush hour traffic and blustery winds, protesters representing a broad range of unions walked a lively, loud, and disciplined picket line outside the Bellevue Westin Hotel to protest and expose the Foundation, which aggressively promotes “right to work” legislation against labor unions.
Feminists, socialists, transit advocates and other activists joined the picket, intermixing with unionists. Hard-hat wearing Carpenters from a nearby construction site swelled the line until the entire block was filled. The action was called by Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS), a community labor group that “builds solidarity across union lines.”
The protest was an impressive show of growing unity against the Foundation’s ultra-right agenda. Dubbed the “Freeloaders Foundation” by picketers because right-to-work laws give union benefits to those who don’t pay union dues, the Freedom Foundation has political and financial ties to major conservative, pro-business foundations and individuals. They include Donors Trust, State Policy Network, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Koch brothers, Walton Family and the John Birch Society.

Freedom Foundation’s campaign.
The Foundation is not only targeting unions. They oppose taxing the wealthy, government regulation of businesses such as anti-discrimination and minimum wage laws, and environmental protections. They also back charter schools, and oppose public employee pensions, funding for women’s reproductive freedom and all public services and programs.
The Foundation has been an enemy of unions since 1991, when it started harassing teachers’ unions with lengthy and expensive lawsuits. Now, using state public disclosure laws, the Foundation’s lawyers are demanding the names, birthdates, and work email addresses of all state union employees. On July 29, a Thurston County judge ruled for the Foundation, but several unions won an emergency stay and are appealing the ruling.
The group plans to use employees’ private information and voter registration records, to get state workers’ home address and phone numbers and mount a direct-contact campaign.
Currently, it is door-belling individual healthcare providers at their homes — members of Service Employees International Union Local 775 — in a well-funded campaign to pressure them to withdraw from their unions. An SEIU 775 member told the crowd of the unrelenting harassing emails and unwanted visits she has received, pressuring her to “opt out,” of the union.

Swelling counter-organizing.
Against such bullying rightwing politics and tactics, it is not surprising that Friday’s picket line in Bellevue included members of several state employee unions, Carpenters, Washington Education Association, SPEEA, Teamsters, several Retiree groups, healthcare providers, members of Hotel Employees, Restaurant Employees, and the Martin Luther King County Labor Council, to name a few.
Old and young came on Metro buses and in carpools; workers from the nearby Mall joined the picket line. Between chants, a group of teachers led the picketers in labor songs such as “Solidarity Forever.”
Home-made signs and the rank-and-file composition of the crowd gave lie to the hired “rent-a-mob” image that Foundation leaders had boosted in a failed effort to discredit the protest. At least one Foundation donor expressed surprise when he learned that protesters weren’t being “paid,” as claimed.
At a rally following the picket, electrician Steve Hoffman told the crowd, “Our solidarity is far more powerful than their big bucks.” Recording secretary of his local, Washington Federation of State Employees Local 304, he said, “If we stick together we can push them back.”
SEIU member Guerry Hoddersen said that the Foundation is “about creating a cheap workforce across the United States.” Mark Cook, a veteran prisoner rights activist and founding member of OWLS, received loud cheers when he summed up the spirit of the picket, “we are kicking ass for the working class!”
Many of the speakers expressed their commitment to confront and expose the ultra-right politics and activities of the Freedom Foundation, and to build a movement capable of uniting and defending the many different constituencies on the right wing’s hit list.
As Maxine Reigel, one of the picket organizers, said “large and disciplined counter-demonstrations against rightwing groups such as the Freedom Foundation, coupled with education, is the most effective and proven way to stop their attacks on working and poor people.”

Picket the Union-Busting Freedom Foundation!

Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS) will picket the Freedom Foundation’s annual fundraiser on September 23, from 5-7pm in front of the Bellevue Westin at NE 6th Street and Bellevue Way NE.

The picket will protest the Freedom Foundation’s racist rightwing agenda that openly declares its goal is to “defund and bankrupt public employee unions.” OWLS is organizing the picket to defend the labor movement and public services, and to raise public awareness around the anti-worker agenda of the Freedom Foundation.

On July 29, the Freedom Foundation won a favorable decision from the Thurston County Superior Court that orders state agencies to turn over names, birthdates, and work email addresses of all employees in public sector unions to the anti-union group. In court, the Freedom Foundation announced plans to use the information, coupled with voter registration records, to get individual home addresses so state workers can be contacted at home and pressured to withdraw from their unions.  Several unions joined in an appeal to block disclosure.

The Freedom Foundation has financial and political ties to conservative billionaires. Their goals include rolling back wage, labor and anti-13735005_1157237317681140_4965732411721538634_o (1) (2)discrimination legislation, environmental protections, LGBTQ and women’s rights, and blocking any tax on wealth to fund public services. The picket will educate about the Freedom Foundation’s reactionary agenda and build solidarity for labor self defense. Unions and community organizations are invited to participate and endorse the picket. To endorse, email OWLS at OWLS@riseup.net or call Jay Herzmark at 206-947-7012.

Outrageous and Unacceptable: Judge upholds Freedom Foundation demand for State Workers names

Activists, including from OWLS packed the Courtroom in Olympia on July 29.

Activists, including from OWLS packed the Courtroom in Olympia on July 29.

13641177_1157237324347806_960852002021310538_o

KCPQ interviews an SEIU member about the FF goal — every worker earning starvation wages.

In an unfortunate decision Friday, July 29, 2016, Thurston Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson ruled in favor of the ultra-conservative and anti-union Olympia based Freedom Foundation.  The decision gives the foundation access to the first and last names, and middle initial of all Washington State employees who belong to a union.  In addition, the state of Washington will provide the well funded rightwing foundation with the date of birth and employee e-mail addresses, impacting the privacy of thousands of public workers.

Arguing on behalf of union members were three women attorneys, Laura Ewan, Kathleen Barnard, and Kristen Kushman.  They stressed the need for individual privacy, protection from misuse of information including identity theft, and the potential risk of retaliation and abuse of workers in the criminal justice system.

A white male lawyer, David Dewhirst, dressed in an expensive dark two piece business suit, wearing dorky looking light tan winged tipped shoes, and having an appropriately sheared skinned head, argued for the regressive Freedom Foundation.

And another white male, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington, Andrew Longerwell, disappointingly neglected to give any meaningful support to the unions and impacted employees.

Judge Wilson, in her decision, noted that the Freedom Foundation openly declares its purpose is to “defund and bankrupt public employee unions.”  She said the State’s Public Records Act does not allow her to rule broadly and that the foundation’s motives of fundraising, and political speech are constitutional rights.  Therefore, she lifted the temporary injunction against the foundation’s request for public workers’ contact information.

The Freedom Foundation admitted that it will use the information the State provides them to determine employees’ addresses through use of registered voter lists.  The organization will then use door to door canvassing to contact union members and “make them aware of their rights.”  But union members already know their rights.  They don’t need a bloated male dominated wealth tank to tell them how to think.

The foundation’s Dewhirst also criticized about two dozen labor activists — members from a wide spectrum of public and private sector unions — who had peaceably packed the court room. Apparently his rights are more important than the rights of ordinary working people who also belong in a court room.

After Judge Wilson reached her decision the activists convened outside the courthouse for an impromptu rally and strategy session called by Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS). Predictably, following Dewhirst’s disrespectful comments, another Freedom Foundation cohort stopped by and revved up his Japanese made motorcycle in an unsuccessful effort to disrupt the peaceful protest.  This individual, whose vehicle license number was photographed, hoped to make it impossible for anyone to speak, or hear.  Is this the Freedom Foundation’s definition of constitutional rights? Only the rich have constitutional rights? Only the 1%?  Only the corporate oligarchy?

Among the labor supporters, Bill E. Garner, an electrician, came all the way from Clark County Community College in Vancouver, WA.  He said members of his union “were glad to be in the union. They wanted to stay in the union, and they were concerned about the release of their information.”

Steve Hoffman, a leader in Local 304 of Washington Federation of State Employees said, “They have the courts, bosses and practically all the institutions of society. We have solidarity and in the end that is enough if we stay strong. Union members are going to be mad and we need to give them opportunity to express their power.”

Attorney Laura Ewan said “We understand where the court is coming from.  The court is bound by what the Court of Appeals decided in the SEIU 775 case. But we feel like we have a chance on appeal…we are going after different information…  The legislature needs to do something, because this is not the intent of the Public Records Act.  The Public Records Act was there to be able to allow us to make sure our government is using our taxpayer dollars in the way that it is supposed to do. It is not to harass union members for their decision to be union members…  We are going to keep fighting.” The judge did not grant their request for an emergency stay, but won a commitment from the Freedom Foundation to wait until Tuesday, August 2, to receive workers private information from the many State agencies impacted by the decision.

Patrick Burns, a union carpenter who helped OWLS organize carpools from Seattle to the hearing, met with applause when he summed up the crowd’s sentiment, “an injury to one is an injury to all,” and vowed to continue fighting.