February 5, 2010 Volume 111 Number 3
Tax increases on wealthy and
corporations win in a landslide
When votes were counted Jan. 26, it wasn't even close: The first
time they've been asked, Oregonians said "yes" by a lopsided margin
to raising taxes on corporations and the state's richest individuals.
supporters of Measures 66 and 67 react at an election night party.]
labor ‘look back’ over Obama’s first year in office
year into his four-year term, President Barack Obama’s list
of achievements looks a little thin when it comes to issues of primary
importance to organized labor. The list consists of the stimulus
act, several pro-labor appointments and executive orders, a tariff
on Chinese tires, and a law that gives women workers more time to
sue over wage discrimination.
message to lawmakers: 'Good Jobs, Now!'
Santos, a member of Laborers Local 296, worked so little last year
that she lost her home, car, and good credit standing. Her story,
and others like it, were heard over and over last month during a
three-city “Good Jobs Now” forum sponsored by the Oregon
Local 555 ratifies Portland grocery pacts
18 months of contentious bargaining, grocery workers, meat cutters
and checkout clerks in the Portland metropolitan area ratified new
collective bargaining agreements Jan. 23 with their employers —
Kroger, Albertsons, and Safeway.
parking meter techs win fight against outsourcing
parking meter technicians are about to get $28,300 each —
the penalty the City of Portland was ordered to pay for trampling
their union contract. Their union, Laborers Local 483, warned that
the City would be breaking its union contract if outsourced an upgrade
of city-owned parking pay stations. City Council ignored the warning.
stadium deal comes with union neutrality and living wage commitments
City of Portland has reached a deal with Portland Timbers’
owner Merritt Paulson to turn PGE Park into a major league soccer
stadium. The $31 million pact guarantees the stadium will be built
by workers who earn a family wage and get health and retirement
benefits, and that the stadium operator will stay neutral during
any union organizing campaign.
Authority to import windows for apartment weatherization project
Authority of Portland (HAP) is replacing windows at Hollywood East
Apartments. The agency could have used high-efficiency windows made
by Chicago union workers at the facility formerly known as Republic
Windows and Doors. Instead, HAP chose to import windows from Canada.
bills in the mix as lawmakers return to Salem
Oregon Legislature began its special session Feb. 1, and representatives
of organized labor will be in and out of the Capitol over the next
three weeks with a wish list they want the Democratic leadership
union leader tells of labor's struggle against coup
Luis Baquedano, secretary-treasurer of a Honduran labor federation,
delivered an eye-witness account of last year's army-led coup d'etat
in Honduras at a Jan. 28 talk in Portland. Baquedano said mainstream
U.S. media reports have provided a distorted picture. Honduran labor
unions waged a general strike in the first several weeks of the coup.
screeners in nationwide campaign to unionize
nationwide union campaign is under way among roughly 40,000 airport
screeners at 450 U.S. airports. The screeners check baggage and
passengers to keep weapons and explosives off planes. But big fights
have been waged in Congress over whether the screeners will have
the right to collective bargaining.
General tells Labor Law crowd he will fight to defend Worker Freedom
Attorney General John Kroger told attendees of the 14th annual Oregon
Labor Law Conference that his office will do everything in its power
to defend the State of Oregon against a lawsuit filed by Associated
Oregon Industries and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that would rescind
the Worker Freedom Act from becoming law.
proposes to change — or close — Boardman coal plant
General Electric announced Jan. 14 a proposal to close — or
alter — its Boardman, Oregon, coal-burning electricity generating
plant in 2020. The plant, which employs about 80 members of IBEW
Local 125, is the biggest source of power for PGE customers, but
is also the state’s largest source of air pollution.
picks up more union endorsements
Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council and the Oregon
State Firefighters Council have endorsed John Kitzhaber for governor
in Oregon? Keep your hands off your phone
new ban on cell phone use while driving went into effect Jan. 1.
The minimum fine is $142, and it’s a primary offense, which
means police can pull you over just for talking or texting on a
Workers Minority Caucus meets, and volunteers, in Portland
than 350 delegates from throughout the country attended the Electrical
Workers Minority Caucus convention Jan. 14-18 in Portland. On Jan
14, more than 125 volunteers fanned out across the city for a “day
of service” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And on Jan.
18, delegates got a visit from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley.
Gary Moore re-elected to Portland Metal Trades Council post
Moore Jr., a business representative of Laborers Local 296, was re-elected
executive secretary treasurer of the Metal Trades Council or Portland