It didn’t take long for Democrats to come out with a website dedicated to attacking Teri Hickel, the Republican candidate in the 30th Legislative District special election who won the primary (52.8% to 48.2%) against Democrat State Representative Carol Gregory. After all, Democrats do like their attack websites.
This particular website focuses on attacking Hinkel on grounds that she would not support Democrats’ so-called “workers’ rights” bills that would raise the statewide minimum wage to $12 per hour and establish mandatory paid sick leave policies.
The bills the website references have the full backing of big labor. In fact, the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) extolled the bills as a virtuous part of its “2015 Shared Prosperity Agenda.” Of course, the attack website won’t tell readers that. Neither will it reveal to readers that there is a pretty significant exception to the “workers’ rights” part of the “shared” agenda.
The “workers’ rights” bills contain an exemption for labor unions. Republicans’ remedy to the exclusion of union workers—an attempt to level the playing field and share the “rights” to all workers—met with a hostile response from labor backed Democrats.
Democrats’ willingness to cut union members out of these workers’ rights revealed the true motivation behind the legislation—that was to encourage “employers to become union shops in order to take advantage of the exemptions.” The bill would have made unionization a “low cost option for employers to avoid paying the otherwise mandated benefits.” Of course, more unionized employers means more union members which means more union dues, which means more campaign money for Democrat politicians.
Making matters worse, according to the Washington Policy Center, HB 1356 and HB 1163 would significantly increase the cost of doing business in Washington by more than $1.5 billion per year. The high cost increases would harm “our state’s business climate and put employers at a competitive disadvantage compared to companies based in other states.”
Hickel isn’t against “workers’ rights.” She is for the success of small businesses and workers—the biggest losers in a scenario where workers are forced to pay union dues and small businesses have to deal with more government mandates.
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