Dec 13 | 2018 Re-Wire Policy Conference | Learn More

Building Trades clarifies, corrects our coverage on support for I-1631

We recently reported that the Washington State Labor Council did not endorse I-1631, the carbon tax initiative. It failed to get the two-thirds support required for an endorsement with only 60.2% of the vote. I noted that the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, the group sponsoring the initiative, still had a number of labor organizations engaged in the work and supporting the initiative.  Here’s a screen grab from this morning in case this updates over time, as one might expect it to.

I named some of those unions engaged on the steering committee, including the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council.  I assumed their engagement meant they supported the initiative.  That assumption was not correct.

In a nod to how complicated and complex environmental (green) and labor (blue) politics are in Washington State, I received the following correspondence from Mark Riker, Executive Secretary of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council.

While I appreciate the difficulties in knowing which groups are pro and which groups are con regarding I-1631 within the Labor Movement, it is inaccurate to state that the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council will be dedicating resources in any form in support of I-1631. In it’s current form we are opposed to the Initiative.

Apparently being engaged in the Alliance that is sponsoring the initiative does not necessarily translate into support for the carbon tax.

I followed up with Mark asking if that meant that the Council would be leaving the Alliance Steering Committee.  He replied that “we intend to stay engaged moving forward.”

This is a useful window into the complexity of the blue-green relations among traditional progressives.  Sometimes, interests can find conflict in the idea of clean energy in a trade off between jobs and environmental stewardship.