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Resolution in Support of Community Workforce Agreements

August 17, 2022

WHEREAS, despite a low unemployment rate and diverse regional economy that continues to recover from the economic impacts of a global pandemic, poverty and underemployment are growing in King County and the cost of living is rapidly outpacing wages. These difficult economic conditions have historically and continue to disparately impact communities of color and others with social and economic disadvantages; and

WHEREAS the Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council and its affiliate members have been associated with the Martin Luther King Labor Council (MLK Labor) for more than 75 years; and

WHEREAS the Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council and its affiliate members represent more than 20,000 construction workers in King County; and

WHEREAS Community Workforce Agreements (CWAs) promote access to construction careers for women, people of color, veterans, and others with social and economic disadvantages. CWAs also establish a spirit of harmony and stability between Labor and management to ensure timely completion of projects, and promote a well-trained workforce that earns family-supporting wages with employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits, which contributes to the economic prosperity of communities; and

WHEREAS, CWAs have been implemented by the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, the Port of Seattle and King County, and Washington State Department of Transportation, among many other entities nationwide; and

WHEREAS MLK Labor requires the use of Union Goods and Services were available; and

WHEREAS, MLK Labor has long history of support for Registered Apprenticeship programs and increasing access to Union Careers; and

WHEREAS MLK Labor regularly endorses Bonds and Levy campaigns for consideration by the voters including school levies; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, MLK Labor will take a position that Community Workforce Agreements should be utilized on all significant construction projects in King County to help open the door to the middle class through careers in the Building Trades for underserved populations; and

RESOLVED, the MLK Labor will communicate this to elected officials at all levels and work with the Seattle Building Trades and community groups to insure the usage of Community Workforce Agreements; and

RESOLVED, MLK Labor will take every opportunity available to support Community Workforce Agreements in order to provide training opportunities and access to careers in the Building Trades for historically under-represented groups and economic opportunities that flow from the expenditure of public works dollars to provide workforce development and economic opportunity to those residents who need it the most in our community; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, MLK Labor will require any bond issue or levy campaign presented for endorsement to have in place a Community Workforce Agreement with the Seattle-King County Building & Construction Trades Council as a condition of endorsement.

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