Posts tagged Jay Inslee

    WA electrical contractors jolted by new law they say favors big contractors, unions

    September 7, 2023 // Tim Rockwell is the owner of Rockwell Electric Inc, which is a small electrical contractor also based in Bellingham. Rockwell said trying to start his own apprenticeship program was extremely difficult. To do so, he had to receive a recommendation of approval of the apprenticeship program through the state Department of Labor & Industries, followed by another recommended approval by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The Washington State Apprenticeship Training Council could then provide provisional approval after one year. Prior to a council meeting, the proposed apprenticeship program can be objected to by another apprenticeship program that operates within the same region. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union objected to Rockwell's proposed apprenticeship program.


    May 3, 2023 // One bill, HB 1533, creates a process for public employees purporting to be “survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, or stalking” to exempt any information about themselves from being disclosed to people seeking government records under the Public Records Act (PRA). Meanwhile, the other bill, HB 1200, requires government employers in the state to regularly turn over the personal contact information—including home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses—of their employees to labor unions. While the two bills are at odds in their substance, the common thread is that they both advance public-sector unions’ goal of being the only nongovernmental organizations with the ability to communicate with public employees. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 upheld public employees’ First Amendment right to refrain from joining and paying dues to a union in its Janus v. AFSCME decision, government unions in Washington and around the country have worked overtime to make signing up for membership as easy as possible while making cancelling membership unnecessarily cumbersome. Part of the approach has involved attempting to silence the Freedom Foundation’s efforts to communicate information to public employees about their rights while simultaneously increasing unions’ ability to communicate for the purposes of soliciting membership.