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CWA Members Rally at Washington State Capitol

Hundreds of union members, including CWA members, rallied last week on the Washington State Capitol steps to show support for legislation that, if passed, would allow striking workers to access unemployment insurance benefits, a move that would help defend striking union members from financial coercion. House Bill 1893 has been approved by the Washington House of Representatives and is now under consideration in the state Senate.

AFA-CWA Local 27019 President Paula Isla-McGill attended the rally and spoke to reporters about the 3,000 Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants who have been working without a contract for ten years. “A lot has happened since 2014,” she said. “We’ve gone through a pandemic, we’ve gone through a merger, and we’ve had contentious contract negotiations over the past year. A couple weeks ago, over 99 percent [of our members] voted to authorize a strike. It’s the first time we’ve taken such a drastic step in over 30 years. That’s because management refuses to bargain in good faith. Access to economic support [during a strike] doesn’t just even the playing field; it is essential to the survival of workers.”

Another bill being watched closely by union activists bans captive audience and other mandatory work meetings to pressure employees against forming a union. It will allow workers who are organizing their union to refuse to attend anti-union meetings without fear of being disciplined or fired. SB 5778 has passed the state Senate and is now moving to the House for consideration.

Washington State Capitol Rally 
CWA members and union allies rallied at the Washington State Capitol to support proposed legislation that would allow striking union members to access unemployment benefits.