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.
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.
Looking for a laugh? Take a look at our new video—yes, it is suitable for work—from last month’s Laughter Works comedy show in Portland, Ore. The show was part of a three-day event, organized by the Oregon AFL-CIO and Laughing Liberally, to showcase strategies for infusing activism with comedy.
Work—and laughter—does connect us all and that couldn’t have been more true than Sunday night in Portland, Ore., when the comedians of Laughter Works Comedy tour took the stage before a full house at the Helium Club.
AFL-CIO Union Summer interns learned what labor solidarity is all about recently when they joined the Portland (Ore.) Day of Rising sponsored by Jobs with Justice. In a series of seven actions in one day, nearly 200 people traveled across Portland to lend support to workers embroiled in contract disputes and to speak out on trade issues.
AFL-CIO Community Services Director Will Fischer reports on the recent Oregon Wants to Work meetings for the unemployed.
Earlier this week, Oregon Wants to Work, an organization that advocates for the needs of the unemployed and underemployed, held a meeting with dozens of jobless workers in the Portland area to help them learn new skills to gain employment.