August 4, 2010


To:                   NW SPEEA Council

From:               NW SPEEA Legislative and Public Affairs Committee

Subject:            Pre-Submitted New Business: Contribute to the “No on I-1082” Campaign





Recently, the NW SPEEA Council voted to oppose Initiative 1082 (I-1082), which would privatize our Washington State liability insurance (workers’ compensation) system.


I-1082 is an attack on workers’ benefits.  We can not underestimate further risks if this initiative is passed.  The corporate interest in passing I-1082 gives complete control of our injured workers’ benefits to the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) and the insurance industry, and goes much farther than other states that have privatized their workers’ compensation system.




·         Eliminates the safety net of the Insurance Guaranty Act to protect workers and employers in the case of fraud or bankruptcy by an insurer. [Sec. 2 (2)]


·         Allows insurers to set their own rates without approval by the Insurance Commissioner, unlike every other line of insurance in Washington State. [Sec. 2(4)]


·         Unlike every other kind of insurer, workers’ compensation insurers would be exempt from all consumer protection laws, including the Insurance Fair Conduct Act. [Sec. 3]


·         Gives the BIAW financial leverage to continue to attack workers’ benefits and further their agenda.  This could very realistically include a “Right to Work” initiative on an upcoming ballot.


·         Removes the voice of the workers from the system they currently contribute to.

For more information:


A statewide group of small business owners, workers, and community leaders, including the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC), have joined together to defeat I-1082.  Other unions, including the IAM, have joined the fight, and have already contributed funds to defeat the initiative.  The IAM has contributed approximately $300,000.  Jeff Johnson, Special Assistant to the WSLC President, stated at a recent meeting with the NW SPEEA L&PA Committee, that he expects the insurance giant American International Group (AIG) and the BIAW to spend up to $30 million to get I-1082 passed. 


For a complete list of I-1082’s supporters go to:




It is moved that: the NW SPEEA Council requests a donation of $10,000.00 to the “No on I-1082” campaign.




·         The current workers’ compensation system protects injured workers’ rights and benefits.

·         Creates solidarity between SPEEA and fellow labor organizations by fighting this issue together.

·         The current workers’ compensation system is a low-cost and effective program.



·         Contributing to the campaign will cost money.

·         Some members may support I-1082.

·         Our stance against I-1082 may be viewed as “anti-business.”