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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Special Interests Pocketing Politicians

WSAJ: Protecting Injured Workers
I got a letter from Washington State Association for Justice asking me to email politicians to stop the scheme to reduce our workers compensation in this state.  You just beat them at the ballot, now the special interests are putting politicians in their pocket again.  Read more below.

Washington's workers' compensation system is under attack — once again. Tell your State House representative to vote NO on C & R

When Washington voters overwhelmingly rejected Initiative 1082 last November, they told legislators to protect the ability of injured workers to get the medical treatment and benefits they have earned through our workers' compensation system.  

But last Saturday, special interests led by the state's largest corporate interests (like Wal-Mart, Weyerhaeuser, and BIAW) successfully pressured the State Senate to pass "compromise and release" (C & R) — a provision of Engrossed Senate Bill 5566 that will allow big corporations to coerce injured Washington workers into accepting bad settlements and rescinding benefits they rightfully deserve. 

Now this dangerous bill heads to the State House — and we need to stop it in its tracks. 

Help us protect Washington workers by keeping workers' compensation strong: Click here to forward an email to your state representatives now, urging them to vote NO on "Compromise and Release" and Senate Bill 5566! 

C & R allows powerful large employer groups to take advantage of injured workers' difficult circumstances, coercing them into accepting unfair settlements that will never provide workers with the full benefits they need and are owed. 

Many permanently injured and disabled workers will have their lives and financial welfare destroyed by this change, and may be forced to turn to public assistance — shifting responsibility away from employers and insurance companies and on to taxpayers and shrinking public services. 

To add insult to injury, C & R also opens up injured workers' private medical records to all future employers — a huge breach of privacy.  

Washington workers depend on effective and efficient workers' compensation if they're injured on the job. We can't allow the big corporate special interests to evade their full responsibility and shift the burden to Washington taxpayers.

Click here to send a message to your state representatives now — and urge them to defeat "Compromise and Release" when it comes up for a vote in the House.

Ironically, this week is the 100th birthday of Washington's workers' compensation system — and the special interests are celebrating a century of efficiency and efficacy by launching the worst attack on workers' fundamental rights we've seen yet. 

With our current system, injured workers get the treatment and benefits they need at comparatively low cost to employers.  In fact, Washington state's current workers' compensation system ranks 36th nationally in cost to employers.   

One reason our system is so efficient is because we're the only state in the country that requires workers to pay into the program — an investment that creates a good-faith partnership between the worker, the employer and the state to make sure working families get the care they need.  Under C & R, workers will still be required to pay into the system, but will have all their rights to quality care stripped away.  

Now, we must defeat the special interests again if we want to keep our 100-year-old workers' compensation system among the most efficient and effective in the country.

Your voice could make the difference: Take a moment now to contact your state representatives and urge them to vote NO on "Compromise and Release." 

Thank you for your help protecting Washington workers — and fighting to keep our workers' compensation system strong and healthy. 


Carol N. Johnston, R.N, J.D.

Washington State Association for Justice

P.S. Washington state's workers' compensation system has been protecting injured workers for exactly 100 years. We can't let the big special interests put these benefits at risk by rushing passage of "Compromise and Release" through the Legislature. Click here to email your state representatives now!

1 comment:

  1. For a comic view of this see