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).
Organizing and mobilization, in theory, is one thing; it’s a whole different ballgame in practice.
After a week of orientation at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., Union Summer interns in Portland, Ore., are applying the theories they learned to the hands-on work they do on-site.
Intern Lesley Salinas explains:
The time spent in Washington I classify as 'theory’ versus the hands-on training that I have been involved in locally in the community. During the training, I was given a lot of information that has been truly useful during these Union Summer weeks.
AFL-CIO blog readers and our Facebook community loved the story about the Oregon AFL-CIO turning the right-wing characterization of unions as "thugs" on its head by setting up three “Hug-a-Thug” stations in Portland, Ore., parks where passersby received hugs from Letter Carrier Willie Groshell (NALC) and members of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Leah Okin and Patrick Landers.
Oregon working families helped propel former state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (D) to victory yesterday in a special election for the U.S. House in the state’s northwestern First Congressional District. Bonamici, who defeated Republican businessman Rob Cornilles, replaces David Wu who resigned last year.
This from Alfonso Nevarez in the AFL-CIO Collective Bargaining Department.
Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore., is in the process of laying off 7 percent of its workers due to declining sales. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 5 units at Powell’s Burnside and Beaverton stores, as well as the Hoyt Street and Northwest industrial warehouses, will be affected by the layoffs. Local 5 President Ryan Van Winkle said that Powell’s was proactive in notifying workers of their bumping and separation rights.