Washington Policy Center opens Center for Worker Rights

Jan 11, 2018

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January 11, 2018                                                                                                          David Boze, 206-946-1018

SEATTLE—Washington Policy Center (WPC) has created a new Center for Worker Rights that will focus on employee issues, promoting labor reform policies to end forced unionism, protecting worker rights and restoring a more reasonable balance of power in our state. The creation of the center is part of WPC’s three-year strategic growth plan and is the eighth policy area of concentration for WPC research.

With the U.S. Supreme Court set to decide in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees on the legality of mandatory public-sector union dues later this year, WPC is now set to play a more active role in a renewed debate on labor issues expected in 2018. As part of the center launch, WPC conducted a poll of union members statewide. Poll results will be released next week.

“With Janus and all the debate that’s happening in Washington state, the need for a full-time research center focusing on the rights of workers was clear,” explained Dann Mead Smith, WPC President.  “Clearly the time is right for labor reform. Our Center for Worker Rights will work alongside other national and state organizations, such as the Freedom Foundation, that are dedicated to ending the collusion between government and powerful union executives.”

The new center director is Erin Shannon, who has worked on small business issues for WPC for the past six years.  Shannon is a former public relations director of the state’s largest small business trade association and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs including as a regular contributor to Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect.”

“There’s always an edge to labor debates,” said Shannon. “But I’m not the type to shy away because something is controversial — especially when it’s the right thing to do for workers in our state.  Our poll results show unions are not giving their members what they want. Someone needs to stand up for worker’s rights and that’s what this center is meant to support.”


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