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Union backers take aim at Madore resolutions

Proposals called unfair, possibly illegal; foes urged to speak out

By Kaitlin Gillespie
Published: March 17, 2015, 12:00am

o What: Clark County councilors’ weekly meeting.

o When: 10 a.m. Tuesday.

o Where: Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.

o Information, see the county council website.

Labor union supporters hope to send the Clark County council the message that they’ve got their eyes on two proposed resolutions they say would harm workers.

Members from the Southwest Washington Labor Council and the Clark County Democrats plan to speak out at Tuesday’s weekly Clark County council meeting against two resolutions Councilor David Madore has introduced to the board.

The first would make collective bargaining discussions for unionized Clark County employees public. The second would implement a right-to-work policy for Clark County employees, preventing them from being forced financially support a union as a condition of their employment.

o What: Clark County councilors' weekly meeting.

o When: 10 a.m. Tuesday.

o Where: Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.

o Information, see the county council website.

Neither resolution has gone to a public hearing yet, though both are drawing controversy. The councilors have only briefly discussed early drafts of them during board time, the council’s weekly meetings to discuss upcoming business.

Madore declined last week to comment on his resolutions.

Though the resolutions aren’t on Tuesday’s council agenda, Clark County Democrats Chair Deanna Pauli-Hammond is encouraging those opposed to attend the meeting and speak out against the resolutions during public comment time.

“We want to make sure they know that we are aware that this is going on,” Pauli-Hammond said.

The resolutions may not even be legal, Pauli-Hammond said. According to the Open Public Meetings Act, collective bargaining is exempt from laws opening discussion and debate to the public.

Shannon Walker, president of the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council, also spoke out against the resolutions.

“We’re just letting them know that we’re not happy with the resolutions that would hurt working families,” Walker said.

Both said they plan to formally organize a rally or protest if the resolutions go before the council for a vote.

Four cities in Washington voted down similar resolutions last year.

Clarification: A previous version of this story mis-characterized right-to-work policies. Right-to-work laws prevent employees from being forced to financially support unions as condition of their employment.

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