January 15, 2010 Volume 111 Number 2
UFCW members dropped from Kaiser Permanente coverage
2,000 Portland-area grocery workers and their families — 5,700
people in all — were dropped from the Kaiser Permanente health
system Jan. 1. Their union, UFCW Local 555, blamed employer-side
representatives on the multi-employer health trust for refusing
to fund Kaiser as an option after rates went up 15 percent for 2009
and 19 percent for 2010.
prefer to glide past facts of tax increase measures 66 and 67
decide Jan. 26 whether corporations and the rich should pay a little
more in state taxes. Listening to business-funded television ads,
you'd think the increases affected everyone. But union support for
the increases makes this an even fight.
demilitarization workers get $3.7 million back pay
300 unionized civilian workers at the U.S. Army’s Umatilla
Chemical Agent Disposal Facility got checks totaling nearly $3.7
million to settle claims over missed breaks and non-payment for
putting on and taking off protective gear. The settlement came thanks
to the vigilance of stewards, and union persistence.
18 months, Portland Public School teachers still without contract
has been under way 18 months for a new contract covering 3,200 teachers,
counselors, and librarians at Portland Public Schools, Oregon’s
largest school district. In negotiations that one union rep termed
"dysfunctional," the two sides have so far failed to reach agreement
on health care, wages, workload, and layoff language.
Steelworkers laid off at Cascade Steel
Steel Rolling Mills laid off 17 employees Jan. 10 — members
of Steelworkers Local 8378. That brings the number of laid off union
members since December 2008 to 103. The plant makes re-bar and other
products used in construction.
amendment to health reform bill levels construction playing field
Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council is thanking Oregon U.S.
Sen. Jeff Merkley for an amendment to the Senate health care reform
bill. The amendment requires construction contractors with over
$250,000 in payroll or more than five workers to provide employee
health insurance or pay a $750 penalty.
gets $40 million to develop fuel efficient trucks
Daimler Trucks North America was awarded a $40 million federal grant
to develop fuel-efficient technologies for heavy-duty trucks. Daimler
is currently in negotiations with four unions that represent roughly
600 employees at its Portland truck manufacturing plant. Daimler
had planned to close the Swan Island facility in June, but since
changed its mind.
Metal training center gets piece of $5 million ARRA grant
Metal Workers HVAC & Metals Institute will get $150,000 over
two years to train workers in green jobs industries, part of a $5
million stimulus grant awarded to Oregon Manufacturing Extension
Partnership. Sheet Metal Workers Local 16, Machinists District Lodge
24, and the Northwest Oregon Labor Council were spotlighted as “key
partners” in the grant award, but only the Sheet Metal Workers
will benefit financially.