On Friday, March 23, Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS) held a labor-community informational picket to put a spotlight on the “Worker Rights Alliance” (WRA). The picket was from 11am-1pm, at 3rd Avenue and Seneca Street in downtown Seattle.
The picket was in response to the WRA’s sponsorship of two full-page ads, published in February in The Seattle Times, attacking Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The ads accused SEIU of spending $2.4 million on Governor Inslee’s election. Where their numbers come from is a mystery as the state Public Disclosure Commission reported far smaller figures. “This phony alliance is part of a nationwide anti-labor campaign pushing so-called “Right to Work,” laws that are designed to smash the rights of all workers,” said OWLS activist Patrick Burns. “Dishonesty is one of their tools, and groups like the WRA need to be outed to the public and unsuspecting workers,” said Kirk Duncan, of the OWLS Steering Committee.
The WRA “Articles of Incorporation” state they shall have no members. One of their directors is also a leader of the anti-labor Washington Policy Center. The WRA website says a goal of the group is to “protect workers from negative union influence.” The picket was in front of the Alliance’s offices, listed in the Seattle Times as 1201 3rd Avenue, Seattle, Suite 2200. This is also the address of Davis Wright Tremaine, described in its own website as a “full-service firm with more than 550 lawyers.”