VANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark County Commissioner David Madore has introduced a right-to-work resolution that would give county employees the ability to receive all of the protections and benefits of their union without having to pay for it.
The resolution states in part that “it shall be the policy of Clark County … to advocate against requiring county employees to join a union as a condition of employment.”
Madore’s proposal follows efforts last year to qualify local ballot measures in the Washington cities of Blaine, Sequim, Shelton and Chelan. In each of those cases, city councils refused to permit the ballot measures to go forward, having been advised by city attorneys that the measures violated state law.
The measures were spearheaded by the anti-union Freedom Foundation, based in Olympia. Union officials believe the ultra-conservative group helped Madore draft the resolution in Clark County.
“It’s a right-wing plan to defund unions to make us go away,” said Shannon Walker, president of the Southwest Washington Labor Council.
Walker said Madore, a multi-millionaire, is couching the Clark County resolution as nothing more than “guidance” from the Commission.
“Why would the Commission be ‘guiding’ county agencies to do something that is illegal under state law?” she said.
Walker said the resolution, if passed, sets up the county for a costly legal battle.
The Columbian newspaper reported that Madore has only introduced the resolution during the commissioners’ Wednesday board time meetings, when they discuss recent and upcoming business.
The Labor Council is calling for union members to denounce the resolution during the public comment period of the March 17 Commission meeting.
A second resolution drafted by Madore — and opposed by labor — calls for opening collective bargaining of county contracts to the general public.