Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced agreement with Republican leaders April 16 over the terms of a “Fast Track” bill introduced in the Senate and House. The bill would make it easier to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a NAFTA-style trade deal that the Obama administration has been negotiating in secret with representatives from 11 other Pacific Rim nations.
A three-day 50-mile walk for citizenship that started in Madras, Ore., ended in Bend at Rep. Greg Walden's (R-Ore.) office, where working families urged a vote on the bipartisan Senate immigration bill with a road map to citizenship.
After watching the continued decline in the number of Oregon workers winning a voice at work, the Oregon AFL-CIO “decided to do something different,” says state federation President Tom Chamberlain. That something different was unions working together. Since late 2011, Oregon unions have been able to craft a number of significant victories for workers who want a voice on the job. Says Chamberlain:
By working together, we have achieved something phenomenal.
The joint effort known as the “Oregon Organizing Project” has helped more than 3,000 Oregon workers win a voice on the job in the past several months. In the most recent campaign, several Oregon unions pitched in and worked together to help more than 300 Head Start workers at Mount Hood Community College who wanted to form a union to address serious workplace concerns.
The city of Portland, Ore., is planning to discuss a proposal by the Everybody Benefits community coalition that would require businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The coalition is made up of labor, community and business groups and is seeking to follow in the footsteps of San Francisco and other cities that have successfully passed similar ordinances.
In a series of video letters, working families and retirees ask members of Congress not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Because of the fiscal obstacle course created by Congress, some in Washington, D.C., want to cut these lifelines. But there is no need to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, particularly when any cuts would directly harm working families.
While Oregonians exercised power at the polls in the 2012 elections Tuesday, workers in Portland also were gearing up for another election that would give them a powerful voice on the job.
After electoral wins across the state and three successful organizing drives in the past three months, full-time, part-time and extra board paratransit drivers and dispatchers with First Transit Region 3 voted Wednesday to form their own union with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757. By an overwhelming margin, 160 employees voted to form the union in the election yesterday, which was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).