Posted by: sweeneyblog | August 22, 2011

Doug Ericksen wants to eliminate collective bargaining

Doug Ericksen, anti-working people

There I was, eating my lunch at the Haggan Market (and if my wife is reading this, it was something healthy, I promise), when who do I see sitting two tables away? County Executive candidate Doug Ericksen, and fellow Republican (and former County Councilman) Ward Nelson. I usually don’t make it my practice to eavesdrop, but from where I was sitting I could easily hear them, so I set down my paper and listened a little bit. Ward Nelson was explaining various details of County governance to Doug Ericksen, who asked questions and took notes. What perked up my ears was the bit about collective bargaining rights.

Frequent readers of my blog will remember that the concerns of labor are near and dear to my heart. Why? Because I work for a living. That’s why. Here’s an earlier post about the media blackout surrounding the recent international labor rally, and here is the subsequent report from that rally. So when Doug Ericksen mentions the right for workers to sit at the negotiating table, I listen. What does he say?

“Look collective bargaining is fine, but we need to get serious about this, and if we can cut them (the unions) out of the process, it makes this whole thing alot easier.” – Doug Ericksen.

From there, Ward Nelson and he proceeded to discuss, in detail, which departments, county employees and so on could be outsourced to get Unions out of the way. Department of Health employees, a brief mention of EMS, a whole list developed. I guess this is what Doug meant when on his website he said,  “Implement a county-wide Priorities of Government program to identify what we should be doing and fund those things within current resources.” and “Utilize private sector technology services”.

Looking for alternatives is always worth it, if your goal is delivering the best service possible to our county. But if your goal is to eliminate the working people’s seat at the table, then you have serious explaining to do.



  1. And the sun rises in the east.

    Of course Ericksen wants to eliminate unions. They would love nothing more than to defang their most significant local opponents.

    No County, not one, has contracted or outsourced its way to financial salvation. Many have tried to use contractors for Medic services, technology support etc. and the results have been almost entirely negative. Same costs for less service.

    Can we get more flexiblity from our public employee unions? Of course. But that has nothing to do with bargaining, it has to do with the bargain. Put a good negotiator at the table, and the results will be better.

    Ericksen has no record of getting meaningful things accomplished, so I would doubt he would be good bargainer.

  2. Yes, collective bargaining does get a lot easier when you strip the collective part out. And it’s him or Louws? Great. Just great.

  3. What is happening to the identity of this community if these are our choices for County Executive???? Do the developers and speculators still have that much of a stranglehold on our county politics? Ericksen’s stance on this topic comes as no surprise. It merely emulates the nationwide war against the middle class. Wisconsin was a wake up call to expose a larger agenda, unfortunately, not enough of us are listening. Sometimes I feel that this movement will have to be stopped with an iron fist rather than investigative reporting.

    • To my knowledge, the Democrats made no meaningful effort to get voters to vote in this primary. This is what happens.

  4. Is this what they mean by creating jobs?

  5. The comments, quotes, and information provided here are 100% false with the exception of Sen. Ericksen meeting with Ward Nelson.

    The author of these comments now has zero credibility.

    Sen. Ericksen was informed of the lies being told on this web page by members of organized labor who support creating family wage jobs in Whatcom County.

    • All of Organized Labor supports family wage jobs in Whatcom County, and I am certain that some vichy-labor support Doug as well. Many in labor supported Scott Walker at first. The vast majority would like a “”do-over”.

    • “Sen. Ericksen was informed of the lies being told on this web page by members of organized labor who support creating family wage jobs in Whatcom County.”

      You know, the comment would be hilariously funny, if it wasn’t so pathetic. Of course people in Whatcom County want family wage jobs!
      Obviously, who ever posted the comment doesn’t think that the creation and preservation of family wage jobs are one of the most pivotal issues facing this community, the state of Washington and our nation.

      Two questions and one comment:

      1. Which of the commenters posted above “Ericksen for Exec” are members of organized labor, and how does the person who purportedly “represents” the Ericksen campaign know that they are “members of organized labor?” (Mark Lowry didn’t even post until after the Ericksen for Exec comment).

      Is the statement a veiled threat by an anonymous Ericksen campaign member/supporter intent on frightening bloggers and commenters from openly discussing the issues? Or, is the purported Ericksen campaign representative only attempting to squelch citizens from having discussions regarding Ericksen’s position on public and private labor unions and the future of Whatcom County employees? I find that ironic, since Ericksen himself is paid with tax dollars! (And has been, for most of his life). Hey, Doug, when are you going to sign a voluntary waiver reducing your Senate pay by 3% to save the State of Washington taxpayers money? After all, ten other Senators from both parties have voluntarily cut their salary – along with 32 of your former seat mates in the House. Even Attorney General McKenna has voluntarily cut his salary (After all, every penny counts)!

      And, my comment: If candidates want to have a “private” conversation with Ward Nelson, perhaps they should meet privately with Mr. Nelson, away from Haggens. That is, unless Haggens wants Democrats and bloggers to stop shopping at Haggens. Heck, even I’ve over heard Ward having some interesting discussions at Haggens while picking up prescriptions!

    • I’m not sure how a comment can be 100 percent false since its by definition a comment. But I’m more intrigued by the campaign saying the quotes and information are false. Does that mean Senator Ericksen really does support unions? As for the hypertensive Gail below, what is she is so hot about? If she supports dismantling the unions, then Riley’s devilish blog here has put her “descent” man on a pedestal. Instead of calling each other names, answer the question. Where do you stand on public unions, Senator Ericksen?

    • Yeah…? Well… you’re a booger face…

  6. You are a jerk for eavesdropping on anyone, I don’t care who it is! I don’t believe a word of what you say! The unions should be dismantled and reorganize so that they work for the “people” and not for their own agenda.

    Find another hobby and quit trying to devilize a descent man!

    Again, you are a jerk and need to get a life! Go back to reading the dirty rag you were probably reading when you thought you saw someone you could “get”!
    You are rude and crude!

    • First of all, thank you Gail, for reading. I appreciate all my readers even if they don’t like what they read. Latterepublic did a much better job of responding to this, so I will leave her to it, I just wanted to thank you for teaching me a new word. I had never seen “devil” turned into a verb. Learn something new everyday, I suppose.

  7. Wow! According to Gail, the blog’s author is a low life, because he happened to be having lunch in a local business, at the same time an aspiring politician and a former politican decide to sit down at a table near him and have a conversation loud enough for the blog’s author (and who knows else) to hear. One would think Mr. Sweeny was paperatzi! Did someone from the Ericksen campaign call Mr. Sweeny and tell him that a meeting was scheduled? The way Gail is talking, one would think Mr. Sweeny was wearing a wire!

    Perhaps Mr. Nelson’s campaign buddies should hold their meetings in a more private setting; that is, if they want to discuss contentious campaign issues like privatizing County jobs without being over heard by a member of the pesky and ever so inconvenient public.

    Remember the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947? The Taft-Hartley Act was a conservative measure that was written to weaken unions, and a number of prominent republicans participated in circulating unflattering reports of corruption in the Teamsters and other unions. For those who are unaware, unions formed the backbone of the New Deal Coalition that put Depression struck America back to work.

    Union membership and power crested around 1970. After that, private sector union membership began a decline that has continued into this decade. In fact, many major corporations have dropped employee retirement programs as a result of declining union participation. Sadly, it appears that the baby boomers will be the last generation of working class Americans to have a comfortable retirement. Fortunately, the membership of public sector unions has grown steadily and public sector unions have been negotiating in good faith to protect family wage jobs and employee benefits for a number of years.

    Perhaps I should do a quick review of Senator Ericksen’s voting record on legislation that has adversely impacted both public and private workers since he took office. I think it would make great fodder for a blog, even if folks like “Gail” continue to assert that it is rude for the media to write about a candidate’s position on labor unions or private sector workers. I wonder if “Gail” understands that Doug Ericksen’s position on labor issues will have serious consequences for public employees and privately owned businesses alike. You see, privately owned businesses depend on employees of government and other businesses to shop for their goods and services.

  8. What I find interesting is that if they talked even louder they could probably be overheard by the cooks and deli workers who are unionized…… Location, Location, Location.

  9. Labors’ scorecard of all of our local state reps can be found by going to the Northwest Washington Central Labor Councils’ facebook page and reviewing recent posts. Those scores are generated by the Wa. State Labor Council.

    Mark Lowry

  10. You know… it’s a sad day when people can’t hold a secret meeting discussing a political strategy in an election year about a subject that is important to that election… and have the sanctity of the secrecy of that meeting be compromised just because the meeting was held in a location to which the public is invited and at which there is no possible expectation of privacy.

  11. […] Note: We will return to more political reporting soon. I have a follow-up on the “Doug Ericksen is anti-working people” story I posted a few days ago, and maybe another candidate interview here soon. But in the […]

  12. […] Recently, we have seen ugly, aggressive efforts in Wisconsin, but also here in Washington and Whatcom County, to dismantle, negate or eliminate our right to organize. The Whatcom Democrats stand ready, to […]

  13. […] decision on both our part. Finally, yes I’m still working on a follow-up piece to the Doug Ericksen post, it is just taking a little longer than expected. I’m also going to analyse the redistricting […]

  14. […] who you might remember as the guy who tried to arrest a citizen journalist, or the guy who is planning on dismantling our county unions, came out and said that the plans propsoed by the Democrats were illegal. Now he tried to walk that […]

  15. […] the entire Lake Whatcom watershed in the hands of Vincent Buys, Jason Overstreet, and yes, that union-buster Doug Ericksen, who have shown very little regard for protecting our drinking water. But it would solidify […]

  16. […] hard-working people of Whatcom County. Frequent readers might remember my report in September about Doug Ericksen’s plan to dismantle our unions? Despite his campaigns attempt to spin that away, he has come out again in the Whatcom Watch as […]

  17. […] Doug Ericksen. The same Doug Ericksen who wages war on the working people of Whatcom, who has threatened to dismantle our county unions, and who tried to have my friend arrested for videotaping a public meeting. Vote Jack Louws and […]

  18. […] check out my recent posts about his plans to eliminate a worker’s right to organize, and his plans to dismantle the county unions. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  19. […] The back is stronger. A simple couple of eye-catching images, not much text, clear bullet points. By the way, it wouldn’t be a political junkie post about Doug Ericksen without mentioning his attempt to have a citizen journalist arrested or his disdain for the working people of Whatcom County. […]

  20. […] him handed his first defeat is . . . very satisfying, especially considering his behavior over the last year  Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  21. […] 42nd is represented by an anti-working people crusader, journalist threaten-er and worst of all, user of Papyrus font in his mailers, Doug Ericksen (R), […]

  22. […] last couple of years, over such trifling concerns like you trying to arrest a citizen journalist, your plans to break up county unions and your illegal shutdown of a bill that would have protected children from toxic mattresses, and […]

  23. […] Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-42). Another member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force, Ericksen is virulently anti-union. Who needs collective bargaining? Let the marketplace dictate how low wages can go, right Doug? […]

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