March 4, 2010


We’re getting reports of members today staging impromptu job actions as they get more and more fed up with the latest legislative budget attacks on programs for the abused, elderly, vulnerable, disabled and public safety.

As we get more details here in Olympia we will pass them along to you. They appear to be spontaneous but lively and not like the tightly coordinated rolling actions during the union’s 2001 statewide strike.

Planned events, like Tuesday’s “Hotdogs and Hotlines” event that generated dozens of phone calls to legislators outside Fircrest School in Shoreline, continue. 

At Fircrest School Local 341's "Hotdogs and Hotline" job action March 2.

But this new development we’re seeing for the first time today only underscores the growing frustration of state employees. They perceive the Legislature as targeting state services already cut to the bone and asking state employees who’ve already sacrificed so much to sacrifice even more while billions in tax loopholes remain on the books.

From what we can gather, employees at the Centennial Building walked out at noon today and set up several impromptu picket lines along busy 19th Avenue and in front of the Tacoma News Tribune. According to reports, motorists honked in support as they drove by the peaceful picketers. The only apparent opposition came from an employee of the Tacoma News Tribune who asked the picketers not to exercise their First Amendment rights on the public sidewalk outside the newspaper that is dedicated to the First Amendment rights of its community. 

Impromptu peaceful picketing today in Tacoma.

We also understand that employees picketed at Western State Hospital, which has been hit by downsizing and faces loss of the successful Program for Adaptive Living Skills (PALS). These peaceful picketers walked out and marched off campus to wave signs and chant along busy Steilacoom Boulevard in Lakewood.

Western State Hospital members march off campus as frustration over legislative budget attacks builds.

No disruption of services to the public or clients took place during either of the spontaneous job actions.

No comments: