Local 338 is an amalgamated union representing four separate bargaining units: Kaiser Aluminum - production/maintenance and clerical/technical workers, Kaiser Alutek workers, and LB Foster pre-cast/railroad ties division workers. We number more than 1000 private sector members who work primarily in manufacturing industries in North Eastern Washington.

 

 
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WA Legislation & Education
Dan Wilson/ted cummings


I want to thank the membership for allowing me to attend the 2018 Washington State Labor Council convention.  The convention was held July 17th through the 19th In Wenatchee Washington.  At the convention, President Jeffery Johnson announced that after 32 years of working for the WSLC he would be retiring at the end of the year.  Secretary Treasurer Lynne Dodson is running for the position to be the next President, she is being challenged by Larry Brown who is the political and legislative director for the machinist union local 751.  This election will be interesting because Lynne wants to continue a social justice focus with the council while Larry wants a return to core issues of wages and benefits.  The good news is that they are both terrific candidates and will continue to fight for working women and men. 

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler was the keynote speaker and she reported that 232,000 workers joined a union and 70 percent of those workers were under the age of 35.  There were many other informative speakers at the convention, including Elise Bryant and Bill Fletcher.  Elise is an extremely talented communicator and can effectively tell personal stories that are entertaining and thought provoking.  Mr. Fletcher is an author and commentator, I have heard him speak on social justice issues and have learned a great deal from his talks.  The last speaker I heard at the convention was Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Nation.  Ms. Sharp spoke about climate change and how her nation’s coastal lands had eroded, and water now covers traditional village sites. 

There were twenty-eight proposed resolutions at the convention and there was healthy and sometimes very passionate debate over some of the proposals.  It’s great to see so much thoughtful discussion and I am impressed by the number of union members who are working hard to improve our state and country by being involved in all these important issues.

The Labor council did not take a position on the carbon initiative that will be on the fall ballot.  Steelworkers who work in the gas and oil industry view the initiative as a job killer and couldn’t be convinced that the just transition legislation would do enough to make them whole.  There was a proposal on building LNG facilities so that LNG could be exported and used by maritime workers.  District 12 spoke against the proposal because of a belief that exporting LNG will drive up costs and hurt domestic manufacturing.  The proposal passed because maritime and port workers favor using LNG and the harmful effects of using bunker fuel on workers.

Another proposal was for pumped storage hydroelectric project there would be universal support for this project but the developer, National Grid currently has Steelworkers locked out of another facility.  Hopefully that can be resolved, and this 2.24-billion-dollar energy project can move forward and provide clean, reliable energy and create good jobs. 

There were several proposals regarding train safety and opposing reduction of rail workers to operate trains safely.

Respectfully,
Ted Cummings
L & E Co Chair