After a unanimous vote of the City Council, Portland joined a growing number of local governments that are "banning the box" and making sure that workers with past arrest and conviction histories have the opportunity to find work. The new code prevents employers from asking about prospective employees' conviction history during job interviews. The new rule goes into effect in the summer of 2016.
Workers across the country are standing up and fighting for higher wages, and the most vocal among them are fast-food and retail workers who are calling for a $15 living wage. Most recently, hundreds of workers rallied for a $15 wage in Oregon.
When someone is convicted of a crime in the United States, the law provides a range of possible penalties. In most cases, there is some discretion for the judge in terms of the specific penalty, but there are usually minimum and maximum penalties that have some relation to the crime. The American justice system is based on the idea that once you are convicted of a crime, you pay your penalty, and then you get a chance to learn from your mistake and improve your life. But the reality is often something quite different.
The groundbreaking ceremony for a new $43.2 million multifamily project in Portland, Ore., financed by the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT), that will create hundreds of construction, service and maintenance jobs performed by highly trained union workers also served as a Workers Memorial Day remembrance Monday.
Maybe the economy has “recovered” for the comfortably wealthy—but not so much for regular working people, who still contend with high unemployment and stagnant—or falling—wages. Yet conservatives in Congress are determined to destroy the safety net progressive and union activists have worked hard to expand since the recession began.
Working people need Congress to focus on jobs, not cuts. So the Oregon AFL-CIO is lifting up the voices of working families, and everyone is invited to help.
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.
Several hundred union, immigrant and community activists rallied in Seattle on Monday and called for comprehensive, commonsense immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for more than 11 million aspiring citizens.