After years of congressional and legislative gridlock, the most exciting development in politics has been the shift toward implementing progressive policy at the local level. Of course, the City of SeaTac’s historic $15 minimum wage initiative comes to mind. But here in Seattle, recent moves toward mandatory paid sick leave, a $15 minimum wage, and universal preschool provide a replicable roadmap for achieving a progressive agenda one city at a time.
But I guess, what’s good for the goose is good for the far-right-wing corporatist union-busting asshole.
The execrable Freedom Foundation has been kvelling in recent weeks about a pair of anti-labor initiatives that have been filed in Sequim, Shelton, and Chelan, that would severely curtail the rights of public employees to organize. One initiative would require that all contract negotiations with public employee unions be open, a Freedom Foundation fetish that has no discernible function other than to disrupt the negotiating process. The other initiative would permit public employees to enjoy all the benefits of a negotiated contract while opting out of paying any union dues—essentially transforming these cities into so-called “right to work” cities for public employee unions, with the goal of destroying the public employee unions entirely.
Both initiatives are boilerplate ALEC proposals, the same good people who brought you “Stand Your Ground,” “Voter ID,” and other reactionary legislation.
It’s a strategy that has so far slipped by under the radar, because honestly, who in their right mind would read the Freedom Foundation’s blog (and you thought my Seattle Times editorial page reading habit was weird)? But it’s a strategy that organized labor and its allies would be advised to push back against before it gains any traction.