Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Politicians’ Illegal Intervention?

From Washington State comes a story that could be told from any community in America:

Several Democratic legislators may have violated state ethics laws when they signed a letter scolding a private nonprofit mental-health-care provider for using “hostile” and “anti-union” bargaining tactics in recent contract talks.

The letter, which was sent this month to the director of Olympia-based Behavioral Health Resources (BHR), was written on official Washington state Legislature letterhead.

The Legislative Ethics Board has ruled recently that it is illegal for lawmakers to use public resources to advocate for one side in a private dispute.

But this tidbit is of the most interest:

In the letters, which actually were drafted by the SEIU, the lawmakers touted the funding increase for mental-health providers. Instead of giving workers the pay raises lawmakers intended, the letters said, BHR was demanding cuts in benefits and job protections.

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