L&I Interpreters Choose Union, Not “Freedom” Foundation

L&I interpreters overcame divisions that the Freedom Foundation tried to exploit and chose to unionize for their profession and the patients they serve. 


Interpreters United (WFSE) won the representation election for Dept. of Labor & Industries (L&I) spoken language interpreters with 81.5% of valid ballots cast.

This is a win for interpreters and ALL workers. 

The billionaire-backed, anti-immigrant “Freedom” Foundation poured money into this race and didn’t make a dent. Interpreters were not deceived. 

A First for the Freedom Foundation?

To our knowledge, this is the first time the Freedom Foundation has actively campaigned and set up a phony “union” to run in a representation election. Workers and organized labor should be vigilant for similar strategies that may play out elsewhere across the country. 

Rank-and-File Activism Win the Day

In this election, the keys to victory were rank-and-file activism and worker solidarity. The same will be true in any other elections the Freedom Foundation tries to enter.

L&I interpreters themselves stood up and demanded better. 

L&I interpreters overcame divisions that the Freedom Foundation tried to exploit and chose to work together for their own good, for the good of their profession and for patients — the injured workers that need competent interpreters to access workers’ comp and other services provided by the Department of Labor & Industries. 

Welcome to the WFSE/AFSCME Family

We are so excited that L&I interpreters have joined our union family and our community of organized labor.

Standing behind you are:

  • Your fellow members of Interpreters United (WFSE), the first union of freelance spoken language interpreters in the United States. 
  • Over 46,000+ public service workers represented by WFSE, the Washington Federation of State Employees, in Washington state. 
  • The 1.3 million public service workers represented by AFSCME, including staff court interpreters in New York and our union siblings in Oregon, the second union of freelance interpreters in the country! 

In addition to membership in the local union, council and national union above, you also now stand shoulder to shoulder with 500,000 rank-and-file members from 600 unions in the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC), the state’s largest labor federation. 

The Work Begins

Now, with a collective voice that will be heard in the legislature, at the bargaining table, and in the clinics, we will begin the work of improving conditions for interpreters at the Department of Labor & Industries. Stay tuned. 

Not a member of Interpreters United (WFSE) yet? Join your union today.


We are Stronger Together. Join Us!