WFSE Mourns Loss of Labor Attorney Anita Hunter

WFSE staff and members are mourning the death of labor attorney Anita Hunter.

Before joining the legal team at the Airline Pilots Association in 2017, Hunter was a fierce advocate for WFSE members and served as the union’s in-house general counsel for 11 years. She passed away on Friday, May 24, at the age of 49.

“The labor movement is a richer place for Anita’s contributions,” said Executive Director Greg Devereux. “She was tough, unselfish, and incredibly principled.  She will be terribly missed by us all.”

Hunter had an incalculable impact on the lives of working people. In 2016, she represented WFSE members employed at the Department of Corrections (DOC) during their first round of interest arbitration. 

“She did an amazing job,” said Community Corrections Specialist Bill Copland. “She built a great case for us, and that’s why we did so well. We would not have gotten a great decision without her help.”

As a result of Hunter’s work, DOC employees received a six percent across-the-board cost of living allowance (COLA). In addition to the COLA, the arbitrator’s ruling increased base pay for many employees by as much as 22 percent.

“Typically, the result was the same,” said Devereux.  “Anita would win, and the employer would wonder what happened.”

Before joining WFSE full-time, Hunter represented the union while employed at the law firm Younglove and Coker. During that time, she fought to protect public workers’ pensions, privacy rights, and ability to participate in strikes and protests.

She also worked on a case that led to the extension of medical insurance coverage to domestic partners.

“Her personality and wit were amazing,” said Attorney Ed Younglove. “I really enjoyed working with her throughout her career. Everyone in our office did.”

Hunter had a thirst for knowledge and loved to travel. In addition to holding a juris doctorate degree, she held a master’s degree in Germanics, spoke four languages, and taught French and German at South Puget Sound Community College.

She was passionate about horses her entire life and spent much of her spare time riding, training and caring for them.

“There is so much to say about Anita,” said WFSE Director of Negotiations and close friend Amy Spiegel.

“She was a truly amazing person whose passion for advocacy, insatiable thirst for knowledge, and unrivaled wit and humor made her one of the most gifted people I have ever met.”

You can honor Hunter by making a contribution to the following organizations:
Magical Creatures of Hamakua Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
Big Dog Rescue Project