Legislative session in Olympia kicks off this week with a flurry of action on bills that will benefit workers. Committee hearings will be held on legislation to 1) secure access to unemployment insurance for striking workers; 2) give workers the right to refuse attendance to captive audience meetings; and 3) provide interest arbitration rights to 911 telecommunicators. All of these bills will benefit members of Teamsters 117. Please review the following bills and sign in support using the links below.

Review the bills below and sign in support!

1) Unemployment Insurance for Striking Workers (HB 1893/SB 5777)

Because striking workers lack access to unemployment insurance assistance, employers can use the threat of evictions, repossessions, and other economic hardships to suppress wages and working conditions. By approving SB 5777/HB 1893, Washington can join New York, New Jersey and Maine in allowing workers to access unemployment insurance after more than two weeks on strike. This will help level the playing field, discourage economic hardship as a bargaining strategy, and promote good-faith contract negotiations. 

2) Right to Refuse Attendance to Captive Audience Meetings (HB 1940/SB 5778)

Workers in Washington have a legal right to form a union free of interference from their employer. But employers regularly violate this law by holding forced meetings where they coercively imply to workers that voting for a union may lead to layoffs, loss of benefits, or closure. SB 5778/HB 1940, the Employee Free Choice Act, would level the playing field for workers by making these meetings voluntary and prescribing civil penalties for violations. 

3) Interest Arbitration Rights for 911 Telecommunicators (SB 5808)

Teamsters 117 represents hundreds of 911 personnel. These essential first responders serve as a critical first contact when the public seeks relief in the event of an emergency. They interface with community members in distress and support our police officers and firefighters by monitoring their activities and providing them with vital information. SB 5808 would provide our 911 telecommunicators with interest arbitration rights - the same rights currently enjoyed by police, firefighters, and corrections employees. Interest arbitration levels the playing field in contract negotiations and will give these workers the respect they deserve.