Issue #340

Cities reject group’s push for ‘right-to-work’

A right-wing group’s attempt to impose anti-union “right-to-work” collective bargaining restrictions on city governments in Washington state suffered a major setback Monday as its propositions were deemed illegal by city officials in both Sequim and Shelton. Dozens of angry citizens crowded into the cities’ council meetings to decry the measures as politically motivated attacks on local middle-class jobs by an out-of-town group, and strongly urged city leaders to reject them. Officials in both cities voted unanimously Monday night to do just that, and not to put the measures on the ballot. The Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based conservative organization with close ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), has coordinated citizens’ propositions in three Washington cities—Shelton, Sequim, and Chelan—that would ban the cities from agreeing to union security clauses in their employees’ union contracts, ban them from striking, and open all collective bargaining sessions to the public. The cookie-cutter city ballot measures were submitted in all three cities by individuals with close ties to the Republican Party, the tea party, or the Freedom Foundation itself. The Stand, 9-9-14.