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Unions Seeking to Buy and Control Burien

By Burien Resident

At the July 24, 2023, Burien Council meeting, the residents of Burien, Burien’s small business owners, and Burien voters came under siege by the David Rolf/SEIU’s experimental-inspired tactics of how to promote union agendas and push through laws to benefit unions from the dias of small, economically disadvantaged cities that have the least resources to fight off their attacks. This time the Burien Council meeting was flooded with speakers from outside the city pushing the $19 min.- wage for Burien. They wanted it to be voted on and passed immediately without a vote from residents on the issue. Sadly, some Council members tried to ram it through immediately with total disregard to the “two touch” rule in the Burien City Council Rules of Order. Thankfully, Matta and Schilling proposed the $19 min. wage issue be further researched and studied before taking a vote on it. Several union-financed Council members on the last two Councils have been openly hostile and unsupportive to Burien small businesses. The BBA, BEDP, independent small business owners, and residents were not even invited or notified for input on this major city issue and potential council vote. The BEDP(Burien Economic Development Partnership) has opposed a Burien City min. wage law repeatedly. 

A city min. wage has been Rolf’s and SEIU’s agenda since 2013.

Quote from David Rolf/SEIU guest blog post On Labor-2016: “As nearly everyone outside the institutional labor movement has already known for years, our old unions and our old system of collective bargaining aren’t coming back. The most important single task of today’s remaining unions is to seed innovation and discover powerful, scalable, sustainable new models of worker organization, just as the pioneers of industrial unionism did in the early decades of the last century. In the short run, they should be able to exist independent of and indifferent to federal power. These experiments should attempt at least seven specific strategies used by other labor movements globally or historically, or at least in types of membership organizations, for impact and value: politically constructed (at the state or city level) regional and sectoral bargaining over minimum standards, benefits provision, labor standards enforcement, certification and labeling, workforce training, workforce supply, and advocacy. And they should be prototyped in pro-union cities and states where they have the greatest chances of success and the fewest well-resourced enemies.”

Plainly stated, David Rolf promotes that unions should go to small, poor cities and towns where businesses and residents have the least amount of money to fight the takeover of their cities by unions, and for unions to do their experiments on these cities. Unions should run candidates for these councils and boards and, with their greater monetary resources, get their union people elected and then run union business from the Council dias and boardrooms. Unions will accomplish their pro-union business by making city laws rather than through union collective bargaining.

SEIU and its partner unions typically do this during election seasons to install their members and candidates onto councils and boards or to push through union-biased legislation by flooding the elections with Union PAC money. This is happening right now in the Burien elections. See the PDC (Public Disclosure Commission reports) for Patricia Hudson and Brittany Williams, both Burien City Council candidates, and historically for Krystal Marx, Cydney Moore, and Kevin Schilling. SEIU et al.’s purpose is not for the betterment of Burien, its residents, and businesses but rather to add Burien as a geographical puzzle piece in their power push to control law-making in Burien and the State of Washington for Union control and benefit. Other unions that have partnered with SEIU under this Rolf/SEIU umbrella plan are the MLKCLC, HEA, the Transit Riders Union, and Working Families (which are not working families but a coalition of Unions)-all sending speakers to the July 24, 2023 meeting. 

As one prominent Burien-area union leader said quietly after the meeting, “Unions have pushed the $19 Minimum Wage, but few Burien Union members or residents will benefit. Most unionized labor in Burien already earns $19 per hour or greater.” Few Burien residents (25%) work in Burien, and most spend 40% or less of their incomes in Burien. The only thing $19-min. per hour will do is drive Burien small businesses out of business or out of Burien. Even more diabolically, the unions that spoke at the council meeting didn’t even want to allow Burien residents to be able to vote on the $19-min. wage.

Please let your neighbors and friends know about this attack against Burien, its residents, and businesses. Please encourage them to come to the next council meeting or to send a letter to the Council. Vote by August 1, 2023, for council member candidates who want to keep small businesses alive in Burien, and who oppose a SEIU takeover of the Burien Council.

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  1. If most non-unionized workers in Burien make $19/h or more, I fail to understand how a law instituting “a $19/hr minimum wage will drive small businesses out of business or out of Burien”.

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