Lynne Dodson on:

Labor and Workers' Rights

Like most voters, I've worked all my life. I watched my parents struggle to make ends meet. I've been privileged to have my coworkers elect me as President of the Seattle Community Colleges Federation of Teachers, and as a Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers Washington. One of the key responsibilities of our public officials is to ensure workplace fairness for Washington's working families.

  • Half of Washington workers have no paid sick leave; 40% are not covered by the federal Family Medical Leave Act. We shouldn't have to sacrifice our family care for our jobs. I support paid family leave for Washington working families, including domestic partner coverage.

  • Washington taxpayers cover the cost of health care for many employees of some large corporations like Wal-Mart. We need a national single-payer health care plan that provides good care for all US residents. For now, I will work for fair share health care, requiring that major employers either provide health care for their workers or pay into State funding for basic health care.

  • Washington has a strong economy. We need to keep it that way. In Olympia, I'll fight for funds to invest in Washington jobs to retain our manufacturing base and attract new family-wage jobs.

  • Our state's workforce is one of the finest in the world. But changes in technology can present new challenges to even the best workers. We need to provide programs that train workers for our evolving economy, including retraining for laid-off workers.

  • As part of our efforts to ensure a well-trained workforce for the future, I'll promote increased utilization of apprenticeships in publicly-funded building projects, so that we can continue to have skilled trades workers with diversity in that workforce.

  • Tax dollars should never be used to subsidize putting Washington workers out of a job. I will work to prohibit exporting jobs for state work or state contracts.

  • Our state and our region have relatively high wages and good benefits. As part of the Labor Caucus in the legislature, I'll defend our standard of living, opposing any attacks on our minimum wage and prevailing wage standards, restoring full unemployment benefits and protecting L&I benefits (workers' compensation).

  • Public sector jobs are responsible to the people of our state, and ensure public accountability on performance, service, wages and benefits. As your legislator, I'll oppose efforts to privatize public services, and make sure that these services are based on the communities needs, not corporate profits.

  • No one should fear retirement. Those who have devoted their lives to serving the public deserve economic security in their old age. That means that we need to provide adequate funding for pension benefits for our public employees.

  • Outside of the Puget Sound, much of our state's economy remains agricultural. Sadly, agricultural workers lack even the inadequate federal protections afforded most other workers. I will work to regulate farm labor contractors to protect against exploitation of farm workers.

  • Workers rights are human rights. Our federal government is increasingly hostile to working people, consistently siding with big business in ways that hurt both workers and small businesses. We need major changes in federal labor laws, but we can make a difference here in Washington. I'll support legislation to control union-busting and protect workers' right to organize.

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