Weekly Update: It's Time To Vote

Understanding Measure 98

We’re proud to endorse a ballot measure for this November that will help put vocational and career technical education back into Oregon’s high schools.

Oregon urgently needs to develop a bigger and better pipeline of skilled, trained workers. But years of budget cuts to our high schools have eviscerated vocational and career technical education for a generation of students. Now, Oregon employers can't fill good-paying jobs for local skilled workers because there aren't enough of them with the skills for manufacturing, engineering, computer coding, electrical work, construction and more. And Oregon’s high school graduation rate just dropped from 4th lowest to 3rd lowest in the country.

Help ensure Oregon voters vote to better prepare our high school students for careers, college and life -- please add your name to Measure 98’s list of supporters.

Ballot Measure 98 will help restore and expand vocational and career technical education and college prep classes in all Oregon high schools, and fund more career and college counseling for students.

Measure 98 doesn’t raise taxes or cut funds from existing services. With the state’s population and economy growing, Oregon is already set to collect over $1.5 billion in new tax revenue. Measure 98 dedicates a small amount of that new money, $147 million / year, to career technical education and college prep. That’s just a little over 1% of the entire state budget.

Learn more about our endorsements at oraflcio.org/vote

Union-Made in America Halloween Candy Shopping List

If you want your Halloween to be all treats and no tricks, make sure all your candy is union-made in America. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's resource site, Labor 411, has a list of union-made candies, as does Union Plus.

Here are some highlights, featuring sweets made by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW):

  • 5th Avenue
  • Abba-Zaba
  • Almond Roca
  • Baby Ruth
  • Big Hunk
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • Butterfinger
  • Cadbury
  • Candy House Buttons
  • Caramello
  • Clark Bar
  • Dum Dums
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate
  • Gimbal’s Fine Candies
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Hershey’s Hugs
  • Hershey’s Nuggets
  • Jawbreakers
  • Jelly Belly
  • Kit Kat
  • LOOK!
  • Mallo Cups
  • Mary Jane
  • Mighty Malts
  • Necco Wafers
  • Red Vines
  • Rocky Road
  • Rolo
  • Russell Stover
  • See’s Candies
  • Sky Bar
  • Smarties
  • Snaps
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Sour Punch
  • Super Ropes
  • Toblerone
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • U-NO
  • York Peppermint Patties
  • Zagnut

Check out the links above for full lists of union-made candy and treats!

Oreos Note: Remember to CHECK THE LABEL on Oreos and all Nabisco-brand products and DO NOT BUY Made-in-Mexico Nabisco products. Find out how here.

Renew needs you!

Renew, IBEW Local 48’s young workers’ group, is collecting blankets, warm clothing, shoes and cash donations this year to help the Union Gospel Mission. Drop your clothing off at IBEW Local 48 or the Oregon AFL-CIO before December 9.

Weekly Update: Who Has Our Back?

Who Has Our Back?

Tonight is the third and final debate between Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As we have seen with the past two debates, Trump’s extreme rhetoric will be on full display tonight, and he’s made his views on women, on raising wages, and on our jobs very clear.

In Oregon, we face candidates with similar stances to Trump on issues important to working people. The Governor’s race and the Secretary of State’s race offer us clear choices between candidates who have our back and candidates who don’t.

Gubernatorial candidate Bud Pierce has stated he’s not supportive of the work we have done to give Oregonians a fair shot at prosperity. His lack of support includes opposing raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick days to working people. He has also made very concerning statements about women, and domestic violence.

Since taking office, Governor Kate Brown has gone the opposite direction of Pierce’s ideology. She is ready to tackle Oregon’s aging transportation infrastructure by bringing stakeholders together so we can build a strong, efficient, and more resilient transportation system that meets every Oregonian’s needs.

Secretary of State candidate Dennis Richardson shares Donald Trump’s perspective on some important issues. Click here to read an article in the Northwest Labor Press by Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain about why Richardson is too extreme for Oregon.

As Tom’s article explains, Brad Avakian stands in stark contrast to Richardson’s anti-union, anti-immigrant agenda. As Secretary of State, Avakian will fight to make sure every Oregonian has a voice in our electoral system - not just big corporations. He’ll make sure that women receive equal pay for equal work within public agencies. Brad believes participation in our democracy is a fundamental civil right of every Oregonian. The state has a responsibility to make voting accessible to all, and Brad has shown us he has the determination to do exactly that.

Each week, we recognize an outstanding local union for their efforts in recruiting volunteers to help get out the vote and talk to voters about endorsed candidates and ballot measures.

This week’s local union is IATSE Local 28!

Thanks for your work! If your union is interested in hosting a phone bank, or would like to participate in any other voter outreach event, reply to this email and we’ll get you the tools you need to recruit volunteers.

Historic Election Predicted in Oregon

More ballots are being mailed this year than ever before to Oregon voters: Over 2.5 million people are registered vote in November’s election! Yesterday was the last day to register to vote and ballots will soon be mailed out.

Over 90% of Oregon’s union members are predicted to vote this year. Learn more about Oregon’s unions’ endorsements and the importance of voting at oraflcio.org/vote.

The Tipping Point: One Steelworkers’ Perspective on Hillary Clinton

Dennis Mitchell builds tires at a plant in Buffalo, New York, alongside his co-workers in United Steelworkers (USW) Local 135. In this election season, he’s also busy talking to voters about strengthening the middle class and making sure working people across the country can get good-paying jobs.

“I feel like we’re at a tipping point right now,” Dennis said. He is supporting Hillary Clinton because of her proven record. “She has fought for children, for working families, for the country itself,” he continued. As for Hillary Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump, “he is only out for himself,” said Dennis, and he’s not the candidate “who will bring back manufacturing, to change some of the trade deals we’ve had in the past, to build our communities.”

Hillary Clinton served as a U.S. senator from New York, so Dennis has seen how much she cares about workers. When she’d come to a labor function or a ribbon cutting, “she spoke directly to us and she was very sincere when she would address our needs,” said Dennis. “She is the candidate for not only our membership, but all of the middle class.”

Dennis has experienced first-hand the pitfalls of a fragile economy. As a kid growing up in south Buffalo in the 1970s, manufacturing jobs left his area, factories closed down and he saw his neighborhood “kind of rust away.” When he got out of the Navy, he found work with a temporary agency.

For two years, he and his co-workers tore down the old Republic Steel factory. Dennis remembers going through the plant and seeing lockers that were still full and shoes still under the benches.

That experience has stayed with him, and now, through his political work, Dennis wants to make sure that never happens to another family or community.

After the temp agency, Dennis found work at a union shop and became a member of the USW. The difference was stark. With his union, he had job security and benefits. Most importantly, he had a seat at the table to bargain in good faith with the company.

Dennis believes that to restore and strengthen the middle class, it will take electing leaders, from the president of the United States, all the way down to local officials, who support working families and will fight to make it easier to form or join a union.

The country needs candidates “who will work for us, work for labor and working families,” he said. “When I look at my nieces and my nephews and my great-nieces and nephews, I want them to have the same opportunity that we’ve had and that our parents wanted for us.”

A Steelworker's Mission: Rebuilding Opportunity originally appeared on the AFL-CIO's Medium publication, By Our Hands.

Weekly Update: Less Than One Week

Less Than One Week

Did you know the deadline for voter registration is October 18th?

That means you have just a few days left to go to oregonvotes.gov to verify your registration status! This is especially important if you’ve recently moved or changed addresses. Don’t miss your chance to make your voice heard in the November 8th election.  

More voters than ever before in our state’s history will be casting ballots this year. For the first time in state history, at least 2.5 million voters will be eligible to participate in November's general election. As of September 30, the number of registered voters in Oregon stood at 2,501,264, according to figures released Tuesday by the Secretary of State's office.

Each week, we recognize an outstanding local union for their efforts in recruiting volunteers to help get out the vote and talk to voters about endorsed candidates and ballot measures.

This week’s local union is SMART Local 16!
Thanks for your work!

If your union is interested in hosting a phone bank, or would like to participate in any other voter outreach event, reply to this email and we’ll get you the tools you need to recruit volunteers.

Volunteer Prizes!

Did you know that Labor 2016 volunteers can enter to win prizes? Click here to check it out! Our next volunteering opportunity is a canvass for our endorsed candidate for House District 51, Janelle Bynum. The canvass is this coming Saturday, click here for all the details.

Immigration: Myths Vs. Facts

A lot of alarming myths are being spread in this campaign season by candidates like Donald Trump who want to generate fear of immigrants and division between working people. Let’s focus on the facts instead.

Myth: Our country is being overrun by undocumented immigrants.
Fact: The number of undocumented immigrants in our country peaked in 2007 and has been decreasing steadily since then.

Myth: Creating a pathway to citizenship will take jobs from U.S. workers.
Fact: Increasing rights and protections for our most vulnerable workers will help lift standards and wages for our entire workforce. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that comprehensive immigration reform would substantially strengthen our economy, increase employment levels and ultimately result in a raise for all working people in our country.

Myth: Undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes and they drain our social services.
Fact: All undocumented immigrants pay sales taxes that stimulate our state and local budgets, and many pay federal taxes as well. However, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for most public welfare benefits, so they contribute more to our public budgets than they receive, creating a positive net fiscal impact.

Myth: Deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants will strengthen our economy.
Fact: Removing millions of long-term members of our communities and unions from the United States would cost an estimated $600 billion and substantially harm our productivity, particularly in industries such as agriculture, construction and hospitality. It would also require the creation of a huge deportation force that would sow fear and guarantee an increase in racial profiling and incarceration of people of color.

Myth: We have no idea who is coming into our country as a refugee.
Fact: The screening done for our refugee resettlement program is extremely rigorous. On average, candidates wait nearly two years for approval of their applications to enter through our humanitarian programs. It would be a clear violation of U.S. and international law to deny people safe harbor based on the religion they practice or the country of their birth.

Myth: Immigrants make our communities less safe.
Fact: Studies consistently show that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than our general population. Attempts to label entire groups of immigrants as "criminals" or "terrorists" are patently false, and run counter to our core values as a nation.

Myth: Mexico will pay for a wall on our southern border.
Fact: The Mexican government has made clear that they will never fund a wall between our nations. Instead, this project would cost taxpayers an estimated $25 billion that could otherwise be used to fund schools, roads, bridges and other projects critical to creating good jobs and moving our country forward.

Weekly Update: A Rough Week

A Rough Week for Trump

Donald Trump is not having a very good week. First, some of his tax returns leaked to the media, showing the country the real story behind his image as a successful businessman. It also showed us that he very well may have avoided paying income tax for almost 20 years.

Now, we’re learning that he picks foreign made materials for his building projects. Trump talks a big game on creating good manufacturing jobs in the United States, but his business practices say otherwise.

A new Newsweek study shows Trump purchased steel from Chinese manufacturers rather than from U.S. producers, in at least two of his three recent construction projects.

Did it somehow slip his mind there are steel manufacturers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin?

Newsweek points out there's nothing illegal about Trump using foreign materials and manufacturers, but it's laughable to think Trump has ever really cared about America's manufacturing:

“Trump has not committed any crimes by purchasing his steel and aluminum from China, nor did he engage in wrongdoing by using Chinese textile factories to make his clothing lines. But, given the only beneficiaries of his decisions to go with cheaper Chinese metals for his construction project are Trump and his family, he is not someone who ever attempted to lead by example by only buying products made in America. He filled his bank accounts with millions of dollars that could have gone to blue-collar workers, many of whom now believe he is the man who will bring back the jobs that he secretly helped to destroy.”

United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard weighed in on the scandal:

“The USW, though not surprised by Trump’s actions, is furious over his efforts to undercut key American manufacturing jobs in the construction of his buildings he so often brags about....The investigation from Newsweek, released Monday, is a shocking exposé on Trump’s plan to not only buy his steel and aluminum from the Chinese, but to use shell companies and corporate black holes to try and hide his greed even as he was planning to run for president.”

This should all make for a very interesting second Presidential debate on Sunday.

Each week, we recognize an outstanding local union for their efforts in recruiting volunteers to help get out the vote and talk to voters about endorsed candidates and ballot measures.

Since we missed last week, we’re bringing you TWO local unions of the week today, ATU 757 & Ironworkers Local 29! Thanks for your work!

If your union is interested in hosting a phone bank, or would like to participate in any other voter outreach event, reply to this email and we’ll get you the tools you need to recruit volunteers.

2015-16 Oregon AFL-CIO
Legislative Scorecard

How did your legislator vote on the issues that impact working people in Oregon?  

Today we’re releasing our 2015-16 Legislative Scorecard which includes rankings of every Oregon State Senator and Representative, a detailed explanation of how our ranking system works, and our Legislator and Freshman of the Year.

Head over to oraflcio.org to check it out, as well as our current endorsement list.

Bud Pierce’s Comments

In case you missed it, gubernatorial candidate Bud Pierce has drawn national scorn due to his shocking comment about women during last week’s debate with Governor Kate Brown. Pierce implied that instances of pay inequality and domestic violence are less likely to occur when "a woman has a great education and training and a good job. Women who are most vulnerable are those who have no place to turn, no family around them."

Locally, his comment drew criticism from lawmakers like House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson and State Representative Carla Piluso, who served six years as Gresham’s police chief.  

The Oregon AFL-CIO endorsed Governor Brown at our last convention, and we maintain that Bud Pierce doesn’t have the experience, and clearly lacks the judgement, to serve as Oregon’s Governor.

Weekly Update: The First Debate

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update • September 28, 2016

Action Alert:
Rally to Defend Door-to-Door Mail Delivery!

Thursday, Sept. 29, 4:30 - 6pm
Main Post Office, 715 NW Hoyt (Broadway)
Sponsor: National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 82 (Portland)
Endorsed by: Portland Communities and Postal Workers United

Learn more & RSVP on Facebook

The First Debate

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement following the first debate between Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump:

“The influential power of working people was clear last night when the first question and focal point of the debate was on wages and economic inequality. For more than a year, working people have established a raising wages agenda to shape the political landscape. We’ve seen it on the campaign trail, in the Democratic platform, at both conventions and now at this historic debate.

Presidential debates are an opportunity for candidates to show the American people who is prepared to be the leader of our nation. Hillary Clinton demonstrated her composure and understanding of the challenges ahead, and provided real solutions. Donald Trump on the other hand proved that he lacks integrity, has no plan for America and is entirely unfit to be president.”

If you missed it, here’s a rundown of the debate:


The real winner is working people whose issues were front-and-center, allowing the candidates to show who is really on our side.

Temperament to be President and Commander in Chief

Hillary Clinton did an outstanding job against an opponent who has no business being on the same stage as her.

Rewriting the Rules

Hillary Clinton gets it. She’s identified the real problems of our economy and has the solutions to fix them by rewriting our economic rules to work for working people. Donald Trump on the other hand showed that he is simply a multi-millionaire who has benefitted from our rigged economy and now wants to be in a position to continue to rig it for himself and others like him.


When it comes to economic policy, Donald Trump completely discredits his own claim that he is not a typical politician. While his campaign is short on policies, the few plans he does have simply double down on failed economic policies. And while he assails jobs lost to outsourcing out of one side of his mouth, he promotes it regularly at his companies from the other. Hillary Clinton knows the kinds of real investments we need and will empower working people to get our economy back on track.


When it comes to trade, Donald Trump is a complete fraud. He has used failed trade policy of the past to benefit himself and would only write future trade deals to even further benefit himself and his friends on Wall Street. Hillary Clinton listens to working people and has responded in powerful, positive ways.


Donald Trump is essentially admitting to not paying federal taxes and his continued refusal to release his taxes is alarming and disqualifying. We all pay taxes as a civic duty and collectively provide for things like teachers and firefighters which are the backbone of our economy. It’s one thing to hear about another millionaire who doesn’t pay his taxes. It’s entirely different when that millionaire thinks he should be president.


Hillary Clinton showed compassion and understanding, offering serious solutions to deal with the emotional and complex issue of race relations in America. Donald Trump provided nothing beyond ill attempts to veil his racist past with policies that have only perpetuated racial injustice.


For many years, Donald Trump has mistreated and said horribly vulgar things about women. Hillary Clinton called him out for it on a national stage and now he has nowhere to hide from it.

National Voter Registration Day

Yesterday was National Voter Registration Day. Don’t worry if you missed out: The deadline for voter registration in Oregon is October 18. Head to oregonvotes.gov to make sure you’re signed up.

BOLI Delivers Major Wage Enforcement Settlement

A major wage enforcement settlement will direct $144,000 in liquidated damages to 46 underpaid workers while making Cornerstone Janitorial Services permanently ineligible to receive public works contracts in the state, the Bureau of Labor and Industries announced today.

The settlement represents only the second time in the agency’s history that BOLI has secured such a lifetime ban. BOLI launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from Hoffman Construction.

Previously, the agency directed nearly $200,000 to Cornerstone workers not paid wages to which they were entitled on a series of 16 taxpayer-funded education and health care projects in Portland, Eugene, Stayton, Junction City, Salem, Keizer, Philomath, Vernonia, Corvallis, Monmouth and Wilsonville.

“Our agency is committed to holding businesses accountable so that workers receive every dollar they’ve earned,” said Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. “It’s especially important that taxpayer-funded projects fulfill the basic promise of fair wages for a fair day’s work. This settlement is a win for vulnerable workers and other businesses that deserve a level playing field.”

Copies of the settlement agreement and Final Order can be found online here.

Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian praised Hoffman Construction for contacting the Prevailing Wage Rate Unit and urged other workers and contractors to contact BOLI if they believe that workers are being denied wages to which they are entitled.

Weekly Update: Our Endorsements

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update • September 21, 2016

2016 Endorsements

On Friday, September 9, the Oregon AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education met to vote on a final round of endorsements for the 2016 general election.  

Our committee votes to endorse candidates and ballot measures based on how they will impact not only our unions, but all working people in the state of Oregon.  We carefully consider what each candidate and ballot measure will do to help communities across our state, including schools, healthcare, the right to form a union, trade policies, and much more.  Click here to view endorsements, sign up to volunteer, register to vote, and learn more about endorsed candidates.

Election season is in full swing, with canvasses and phone banks happening across the state. Each week, we will recognize an outstanding local union for their efforts in recruiting volunteers to help get out the vote and talk to voters about endorsed candidates and ballot measures.

This week’s local union of the week is LiUNA 737!  

If your union is interested in hosting a phone bank, or would like to participate in any other voter outreach event, reply to this email and we’ll get you the tools you need to recruit volunteers.

Bud Pierce Can’t Make Up His Mind

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain released the following statement today in response to Republican gubernatorial candidate Bud Pierce’s indecision about the Presidential election:

“It sounded like another Republican heeded Governor Brown's call to disavow Donald Trump today. But after Bud Pierce said this morning to OPB that he won't support Trump, now he is distributing a statement indicating he is still not sure whether he will vote for Trump, or at all. After a day of back and forth, it's even less clear who Bud Pierce supports for President of the United States of America. What we do know is that Oregon doesn't have time for someone who can't make up their mind.”

Find out more about where Governor Kate Brown and Bud Pierce stand on the issues during their first debate on Saturday, September 24.  KGW.com will stream the debate online from 6-7pm.  

“You Should Resign”

In case you missed it, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts took Wells Fargo CEO John Strumpf to task in a hearing this week. It’s worth watching, and we hope her passion for defending working people from Wall Street corruption spreads. Click here to check it out:

Weekly Update: Have you called Congress?

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update • September 14, 2016

National Day of Action Against the TPP

No matter what you hear about the TPP being “dead,” don’t believe it! The allies of corporate CEOs are ready to tell you they stand up for workers today in order to get your votes. But they may then turn around and vote for the TPP after the election in November in order to make their friends on Wall Street happy.  

The TPP isn’t just a faraway risk; it’s a clear and present danger. Backers of the deal recently put Americans on notice that the deal could come up for a vote in Congress during the “lame duck” period between the election and the start of the year. In other words, they want to wait until few are paying attention, and many outgoing members of Congress have nothing to lose.

The only way to defeat this corporate rights deal is through people power – we have to make it so uncomfortable to vote for the TPP, so painful, so awful, that no one will think it is okay to turn their back on working people. Not Democrats. Not Republicans.

And we start with a national call-in day today, September 14. We have to tell Congress that the TPP—negotiated behind closed doors and behind our backs—doesn’t deserve a vote. But if it gets one, that vote better be NO.

Dial 855-712-8441 to be connected with your member of Congress.

Once you reach their office, tell them that one of the best ways that Congress can stand up for working families is by committing to stop an urgent threat to jobs, wages, and our democracy—the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and urge them to publicly oppose the TPP and work to stop an unfair lame-duck vote.


Oregon’s Community Alliance of Tenants is rallying in Salem on Thursday, September 22 to kick off the Just Cause Evictions campaign launch on Renter Day of Action.

The rally begins at 11am on the Oregon State Capitol steps with a legislative hearing following from 2pm – 5pm. RSVP, learn more, and spread the word on Facebook.

Trump is Wrong for Working Women

If you haven't figured it out yet, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is wrong for working women. He has made this clear throughout his life and continues to do so with his words and policy proposals this election. He doesn’t support women, and women shouldn't support him.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler introduces this video that takes a look at Trump's history with women:

Weekly Update: Working for Trump for 26 Years

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update • September 7, 2016

Working for Trump for 26 Years

The following is a powerful story by Patricia Mazur, who has worked at the Trump Taj Mahal for 26 years:

“Going on strike was not an easy decision and not something my co-workers and I at the Trump Taj Mahal took lightly. But we knew it was our only option after billionaire Carl Icahn stripped us of our health care and benefits. And we could use your help keeping our fight alive.

In 26 years serving cocktails at Trump Taj Mahal, I’ve survived four Trump Taj Mahal bankruptcies—and two bouts of breast cancer. There’s never a "good" time to learn that your cancer has returned. But in 2014, when my co-workers and I at the Trump Taj Mahal casino found out we were losing our health care because of Carl Icahn, I received news of my diagnosis.

It was a very scary time for me; not only was it my second go-around with cancer, but I lost my mother to the same illness. As if cancer wasn’t a difficult battle on its own, I had to constantly worry about debt collectors and payment plans on top of recovering from major reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy sessions. Up until the very last day we still had coverage, I was running around doing everything I could to accelerate my procedures. But the bills piled up—fast. I’m living with a friend now because I had to give up my apartment.

At the expense of people like myself who have been invested in the Trump Taj Mahal since the day it opened, billionaire Carl Icahn prioritized padding his pockets for a few extra bucks. And it’ll almost be the anniversary of when I had my operation, the same week our health care coverage ended, that Carl Icahn says he’ll be closing the Trump Taj Mahal for good. But we’ve been fighting back and have been out on strike since July 1, and intend on holding the line strong no matter what.

I don’t know what I would’ve done without the strike hardship fund helping me avoid more collection agents and debt for my chemotherapy bills. By donating to our strike hardship fund, you’re helping keep our fight alive; you’re giving people like me at least one day longer to stand up to a billionaire bully and all the injustices we’ve endured under him at the Trump Taj Mahal.

This fight goes further than Atlantic City; it’s our time to stand up to these billionaires who think it's OK to put a dollar and cent value on the livelihoods of working people.”

Update: Barring late changes, the Trump Taj Mahal is scheduled to close Oct. 10.

Upcoming Labor 2016 Events

Election season is upon us! Here’s a list of upcoming events you won’t want to miss:

Rally Against Zoom+ Care

Join us for lunch downtown with Zoom! Bring your lunch and help us to demand that Zoom+ be a more responsible community member! Fruit and snacks will be available for free.

Where: Zoom+ Care at 900 SW 5th Ave in downtown Portland
When: Tuesday, September 13 at noon
RSVP & spread the word on Facebook

Portland-based Zoom+ Care is a "fast food medicine," for-profit corporation that is partially owned by the Oregon investment firm, Endeavor Capital. Zoom+ says it is "going to change the way healthcare is being delivered" as it continues its expansion throughout Portland and into the Seattle area, but Zoom+ does not accept Medicare, Medicaid, or Tri-Care patients and they have been accused of "cherry picking" the young and the healthy in order to increase their profit margin.

If Zoom+ is allowed to avoid the problems of dealing with poorer, aging patients who have chronic health problems by marketing only to a young and healthy demographic, it will shift care for the poor, disabled, and elderly onto small, local clinics and non-profit providers who will be left with the burden of labor and cost in caring for an older and sicker population of patients, putting stress on their ability to care for all of us.

We are taking action here in Portland because we must hold Zoom+ accountable for its unethical business practices that harm our community. Holding businesses like Zoom+ Care accountable is a step along the way toward access to healthcare for all Oregonians!

Join us to hold Zoom+ accountable and demand that they accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tri-care patients!

Sponsored by:
Portland Jobs with Justice
Oregon Alliance for Retired Americans
Hands On Medicine
Bridge City Family Medical Clinic
Oregon AFL-CIO
UFCW 555

Weekly Update: Labor Day

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update • August 31, 2016

Labor Day

Labor Day is almost here! Whether you’re planning to head out to a picnic or host your own barbecue, we’ve got you covered:

And here’s a roundup of articles to help you send the right message on social media for Labor Day:

"No one is more American than I am."

Proud union member and AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre has a message for Donald Trump: "No one is more American than I am."

Tefere’s story is truly inspiring.

One night at his UPS job, Tefere Gebre's co-worker handed him some union material.

“He told me that I’d get health care and vacation and other benefits by filling it out. I said, ‘Are you serious?’ I thought, ‘Hmm. Everyone should have that.’”

Tefere, now the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO (the third-highest ranking position at the federation representing America's working people), has been a proud union member for most of his life, valuing the freedom of people to come together in union.

This freedom is sacred to Tefere, considering what he had to live through to achieve it. And he won't let anyone, especially not Donald Trump, try to take that away from him.

Born in Gondar, Ethiopia, Tefere came to the United States in the 1980s as a young teenager having survived a brutal military regime that killed thousands of people, including children.

Watch this video to hear Tefere's story and his perspective on what being an American is.

No TPP Vote in Lame Duck Session

Last week, news broke that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not bring forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership for a vote during the post-election “lame duck” session.

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain released the following statement in response to the news from the Senate:

“Oregon’s unions have not typically agreed with the decisions made by Senator McConnell, but the choice not to hold a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is absolutely the right call. The TPP is a threat to working people in Oregon, and a threat to working communities across our entire country. We can’t afford another NAFTA-style free-trade deal which sends more Oregon jobs overseas for the sake of corporate profits. What we need are trade policies designed to give working people opportunities instead of shuttered factories, unemployment, and a global race to the bottom.”

Senator Jeff Merkley, our steadfast ally on trade and workers’ rights, released a statement as well last week. The Oregon AFL-CIO applauds Senator Merkley’s continued support and advocacy for working people and our unions.

“It’s rare for me to agree with Senator McConnell, but in this case he made absolutely the right decision. The TPP is a flawed trade deal that fails our workers and is opposed by both major party presidential nominees. Pushing it through at the last minute before a new administration would simply be wrong. We need trade policies that work for working Americans, not a rush to ram through giant trade agreements that repeat the mistakes of past job-killing trade deals.”

This is good news, but our work isn’t over. We need to continue speaking up against the TPP and any free trade agreement which will ship jobs overseas. Click here to make sure you’re signed up to receive action alerts from the Oregon AFL-CIO.

Weekly Update: This Is Huge

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update • August 24, 2016

A Huge Win for Student Workers

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that students who work as teaching and research assistants at private universities have the right to stand together and organize unions on campus to negotiate for wages, benefits, and working conditions.  

This is a huge step forward for student workers, like those at Columbia University whose struggle lead to this momentous ruling from the NLRB.

Paul Katz, one of the graduate student workers at Columbia University involved in the organizing campaign told the New York Times why he and others are fighting for a union: “It’s a question of power and democracy in a space in the academy that’s increasingly corporatized, hierarchical. That’s what we’re most concerned about.” Simply put, it’s about giving student workers the ability to level the playing field by having a voice at work.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released a statement which puts yesterday's ruling into perspective:

“Today’s momentous decision by the NLRB marks a major victory for teaching and research assistants at Columbia University whose right to organize and form a union has been restored. This common sense decision will empower over 100,000 teaching and research assistants at other private institutions across the country, including Yale, Harvard, Cornell, and the New School whose teaching and research assistants are already organizing. These student workers often toil under unpredictable conditions while they teach undergraduates and provide the backbone work that sustains our world-class research laboratories.

Like all other working people, they deserve a say in determining their wages, benefits, and working conditions. The decision is also a win for working people everywhere who are challenging insecure working conditions in other industries. Working people are taking advantage of new and innovative ways to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

The labor movement will continue to stand by these student workers, and all working people, as together we ensure fairness in our economy.”

Union -Made School Supplies

It’s that time of year again! As kids across Oregon head back to school, make sure you’re filling up their backpacks with union-made school supplies.  Here’s a list to help you out, courtesy of Labor411:

ICYMI: Justice Department Bans Private Prisons

The Department of Justice announced last week that it would stop the use of private contractors, such as Corrections Corporation of America, to run prisons under their jurisdiction. The announcement comes on the heels of damaging reports about the safety, security, and oversight of private prisons released by DOJ and Mother Jones in recent months.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement in reaction to the news:

“The labor movement applauds the Department of Justice for taking the necessary steps to end their use of private prisons. Privately run prisons have a long record of being less safe and providing fewer resources and opportunities than publicly run institutions.

Our criminal justice system can never be fair while there is money to be made in locking up individuals. The entire labor movement will continue to fight until all incarcerated people are treated with dignity and every man and woman who works inside a correctional facility is safe on the job.“

AFSCME President Lee Saunders applauded the move as a step in the right direction:

“Whether at the federal or state and local level, private prison operations have long been a stain on our nation’s criminal justice system. Compared to publicly run correctional facilities, private prisons provide a fraction of the safety and rehabilitation our communities should expect. They have not kept us secure, nor have they delivered savings to the taxpayers—instead, corporate prisons have profited off of the suffering of our communities and have led the way to mass incarceration and the immoral detention of immigrant families in privately operated facilities that just this week were revealed in reports to be wasting taxpayer money.

Today’s announcement reinforces what we have long asserted: The dedicated women and men working in our nation’s federal, state and local public prisons keep our communities safe, day in and day out, and they do it more cost effectively than at prisons operated for profit by private corporations. Private prisons are a failed experiment. We wholeheartedly applaud the Justice Department’s decision to end their use and call on state and local governments, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, to follow the federal government’s lead on this decision.”

Weekly Update: Reality Check

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update • August 17, 2016

Action Alert:  Rally at the Capitol Next Week

The United Steelworkers Legislation & Education Committee is hosting a rally in Salem at the Capitol in opposition of Governor Brown's support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The rally is August 23rd from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

Event Reminder: Rock Against the TPP!

Don’ forget to join us in Portland on Saturday to rock against the TPP!
Click here for all the details.

Reality Check

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain published an opinion piece in Sunday’s edition of The Oregonian. His piece is a response to the Freedom Foundation’s Oregon staffer, Anne Marie Gurney, who published an opinion piece the week before.

Here’s Tom’s article, in case you missed it:

Anne Marie Gurney, a staffer for the Washington-based Freedom Foundation, recently broadsided Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an op-ed in The Oregonian/OregonLive ("Kotek, Clinton's brand of progressivism has devastated Oregon's economy," Aug. 2). Unfortunately, it was heavy on rhetoric but light on facts.

First, some context: On numerous occasions, the anti-union Freedom Foundation's leadership has stated that their goal is to weaken labor unions in the Pacific Northwest so they can enact policies which benefit the wealthiest and leave working people behind. To that end, their goal is to paint the current leadership and recent policies that help working people, like the minimum wage increase and paid sick days, as hindering economic growth. The reality, however, does not live up to the "facts" Gurney claims.

Quoting data compiled by economist Eric Fruits, Gurney writes that "over the past 30 years or so, Oregon has frequently been in the top 10 for having the highest unemployment." Rather than consider what Gurney writes has happened "frequently" since the beginning of Ronald Reagan's second term, it seems far more relevant to look at the current jobs situation.

In June 2016, Oregon's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, below the national rate of 4.9 percent. This year, The Oregonian/OregonLive has published headlines such as "Oregon unemployment rate drops again as state adds 2,300 jobs," (Jan. 20); "Portland-area unemployment rate reaches 15-year low," (March 8); and "Oregon unemployment rate now at lowest point since 2007," (March 1).

Gurney also writes that "Oregon has had the highest rate of underemployment in seven of the past 13 years." But numbers from Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis show that underemployment has dropped to levels not seen in a decade. That does not sound like a state being crushed by the weight of policies that give working people a fair shot at prosperity.

But the argument that makes the least sense is this: "Since the Great Recession, the cost of living in Oregon has grown to be almost 30 percent higher than the national average, driven largely by skyrocketing housing costs, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center."

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center has created its own index to estimate the cost of living in every state and assigned the nation as a whole to 100 on their scale. One hundred-thirty isn't 30 percent higher than 100 in real dollars! To illustrate, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates the national cost of living for a family of four to be $62,260. One would expect, if Gurney and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center were using anything other than arbitrarily assigned numbers, that Oregon's cost of living would be an outrageous $80,938.

But it's not. The statewide average cost of living in Oregon is actually $52,062.40, or 16 percent lower than the national average.

Put all of this together, and what you get are political operatives using fuzzy math and a study they paid for themselves to try to pull the wool over the eyes of Oregonians, all in an attempt to attack the rights of working people to stand together as a union.

It's a good thing we're smarter than that.

Congressman Schrader's Overtime Legislation Would Take Overtime Protections from Working People

Overtime rules can be a powerful way to prevent working people from getting overworked without getting paid more for their additional effort. Such rules protect both working people and their families, but the federal rules on overtime are out of date and don't protect nearly enough Americans. The Obama administration recently proposed updates to these rules that would help millions of Americans. NW Labor Press describes the update to the rules:

“The update has to do with which employees are eligible for overtime pay. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers must be paid time-and-a-half for every hour they work over 40 in a week, but [salaried] 'executive, administrative and professional' employees can be considered exempt from the overtime pay requirement. Increasingly, employers have been paying low-level managers on a salaried basis and claiming they’re exempt from overtime. They get away with it because the Department of Labor says it’s okay to exempt managers from overtime if they’re paid on a salaried basis and the salary is over $23,660 a year. That dollar amount was last updated in 2004 after being unchanged since the 1970s, and it was too low even in 2004. The Obama administration’s new rule raises it to $47,476—more along the lines of what it was in the 1970s, adjusted for inflation—and indexes it to wage growth from now on. The change is expected to affect over 4 million American workers.”

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) has proposed legislation that would delay the scheduled increase in the overtime salary threshold for three years. The Schrader bill would also gut a key provision of the new rules—the one that indexes the salary threshold to wage growth, which is necessary to keep people from losing their overtime protection over time. This indexing provision is one of the key reasons why the administration proposed new overtime rules in the first place.

If the Schrader bill were to pass, an estimated 10.4 million fewer working people would have salaries below the threshold by 2035, which means they would be less likely to have overtime protection.

Congressman Schrader is wrong and this legislation will hurt both working people and the economy.

Tell Congressman Schrader: Don’t take overtime protections from working people.

Weekly Update: Are You Ready to Rock?

Labor 2016 Kickoff in Eugene on Saturday

Election season is right around the corner and Oregon's union movement is gearing up to elect strong candidates across the state.

To kickoff Labor 2016, we are hosting a canvass for union-endorsed Julie Fahey for State Representative and a campaign training next Saturday in Eugene. Here’s what you need to know to attend this exciting event:

Labor 2016 Kickoff: Campaign Training + Canvass for Julie Fahey

We know the political strength of the labor movement in Oregon is rooted in our activism, organizing, and volunteer work, but recruiting new volunteers is one of the most persistent challenges of the work we do. Saturday’s training will focus on strategies for mobilizing union members to become motivated and active in keeping our state a leader in the advancement of rights and protections for working people.

We hope to see you on Saturday, and please RSVP if you're planning to attend. Please reply to this email if you have any questions about the event, or about the Oregon AFL-CIO’s Labor 2016 program.

Rock Against the TPP is Coming to Oregon!

The biggest challenge we’re facing in the fight to stop the anti-democratic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is that too many people still don’t know what it is.

That’s a real problem. And corporate lobbyists are hoping to exploit it to quietly rush the TPP through Congress this Fall. Fortunately, we’ve got a secret weapon to help sound the alarm: the Rock Against the TPP roadshow.

On Saturday, August 20, thousands of Oregonians will come together to demonstrate their unified opposition to the largest free trade agreement ever: the TPP. Join us for an afternoon teach-in at Portland State University covering the environmental consequences of the TPP, then march with us to a free concert and rally at Director's Park in downtown Portland from 5 - 10pm.

2:00 - 3:30pm: Teach In at PSU
4:00 - 4:45pm: March/Bike Ride (S. Park Blocks)
5:00 - 10:00pm: Concert and Rally Against the TPP (815 SW Park Ave)

Rock Against the TPP is a nationwide uprising and concert tour meant to raise awareness about the threats of the TPP and the likely vote in Congress right after the election. This massive event is sponsored by the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, the Sierra Club, Fight for the Future, Firebrand Records, and many others. For more information and to get your free tickets CLICK HERE.

Featuring: Anti-Flag (acoustic), Golden Globe nominated actress Evangeline Lilly, Downtown Boys, Bell's Roar, Evan Greer, Taina Asili, and more.

If you want to help before or during the show, please fill out the volunteer form here.

Join us for this family-friendly concert with food carts, a beer garden, trade-themed carnival games, and more! Get your free tickets today!

Portland Specialty Baking Faces Class Action Lawsuit

Seven immigrant and refugee workers took a stand this week against harsh working conditions at Portland Specialty Baking, LLC (PSB), the same bakery who employed ruthless union busting tactics against an organizing effort six months ago.

The PSB production line workers filed a class action lawsuit claiming violations of overtime laws and paid sick leave, seeking to represent hundreds of current and former workers. PSB workers manufacture such baked goods as bagels, pretzels, and pies, that are sold under Franz and Rich’s brand names and at Starbucks, Walmart, Costco, Winco and Jamba Juice.

“We work long hours, sometimes more than 13 hours a day and often over 60 hours in a week,” said Ignacio Mazahua Reyes through a Spanish interpreter. “We are simply asking to be paid correctly the overtime that we are owed and to be able to take paid sick leave without fear that we will be written up or lose our jobs.”

The workers, through their attorneys at Northwest Workers’ Justice Project and the Law Office of Phil Goldsmith, allege they should be paid both daily manufacturing overtime when they work more than 10 hours a day and weekly overtime for hours over 40 in a week. They request injunctive relief to prevent shifts of more than 13 hours, illegal in manufacturing. The complaint also says PSB’s attendance policy violates the new Oregon Paid Sick Leave Law that went into effect on January 1, 2016 because workers receive points that can lead to discipline and written warnings for taking protected leave.

“The daily manufacturing and weekly overtime wages are meant to protect our clients, or at least compensate them, for the grueling working conditions they are experiencing,” said Corinna Spencer-Scheurich of the Northwest Workers’ Justice Project. “For many, this is one of their first jobs in the United States, and wage theft and labor violations don’t constitute a very warm welcome.”

“Some small changes in pay or schedules could make a big difference in our lives,” said Hsit Hsit through an interpreter. “It is hard to get enough rest. Without the lawsuit, the company would have very little reason to do things differently.”  

Weekly Update: It's Almost Time

Labor 2016 Campaign Kickoff Events

Election season is right around the corner and the Oregon's union movement is gearing up to elect strong candidates across the state.

To kickoff the election cycle, we’re having events in August and September to provide Central Labor Chapters and local unions with resources to bolster the electoral power of working people.

We know the political strength of the labor movement in Oregon is rooted in our activism, organizing, and volunteer work,  but recruiting new volunteers is one of the most persistent challenges of the work we do. The trainings and campaign kickoffs will focus on strategies for mobilizing union members to become motivated and active in keeping our state a leader in the advancement of rights and protections for working people.

Come get the tools you need to effectively recruit volunteers and knock doors this election cycle!

Click here for a list of all the upcoming kickoff events and to RSVP.

Union Veterans Speak Out Against Trump

US Marine and Iraq War Veteran Will Fischer gives Donald Trump a reality check in these two straight forward and important videos. Please share these videos widely.

Thank you Will, and all our military families for your sacrifices while defending our freedom.

Collective Power Brings Real Change

The political landscape has shifted because working people collectively bargained for, fought for and won pay raises in historic fashion. The time is ripe for a new economic agenda for broad prosperity, and organizing and collective bargaining are the best tools to achieve the economy that works for all.

Working people are standing up and speaking out for a voice on the job, which means the right to join together to demand better wages and working conditions without fear of firing or retaliation. We also are helping to win legislation that positively impacts everyone. These latest worker wins show what the power of collective voice can achieve.

IAFF Leads Toxic Flame Retardant Ban in Washington, D.C.: D.C. Local 36 was instrumental in securing passage of legislation banning the use of toxic flame retardants. This ban will help reduce the deadly cancer risk to families and firefighters. The Fire Fighters (IAFF) has fought tirelessly for bans on the use of these toxic fire retardant chemicals. Since 2003, 12 states have passed bans, and 11 others are currently considering restrictions.

At the federal level: Congress passed legislation that strengthens the ability of the Environmental Protection Administration to regulate and ban dangerous chemicals. The Chemical Safety Act will allow the EPA to protect firefighters and families from toxic flame retardants throughout the nation, which is in addition to actions states can take.

$15 Minimum Wage Passes in District of Columbia: United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 has been a champion of raising the minimum wage and continues to work with the District of Columbia Council to improve the lives of D.C. working families. The union is calling on the city to guarantee stable hours and predictable scheduling in chain restaurants and retail stores. It also advocates for the passage of the Universal Paid Leave Act to help low-wage workers safeguard themselves and their families in the event they are without income for an extended period.

Hundreds of Health Professionals Join AFT: Nearly 300 registered nurses, medical and dental assistants and addiction treatment center workers in Montana, Connecticut and New Jersey recently voted to join the union. The addiction treatment center workers at Sunrise House voted nearly 5–1 to join the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, an AFT affiliate and New Jersey’s largest union of health care professionals.

Machinists Win Strong Contract After Six-Week Lockout: More than 400 Machinists (IAM) Local 86 members in Spokane, Washington, voted to ratify a new four-year contract with Triumph Composite Systems. The contract includes pay raises, bonuses, a cap on health care costs and a new company-funded retirement savings plan for employees hired since 2013. It also cuts in half a two-tier pay scale and allows for the union and the aerospace parts factory to explore better alternatives to outsourcing

Weekly Update: 103 Days

103 Days Until Election Day

Election Day is 103 days away, and it’s never too early to begin preparing to elect candidates who support working people, our unions, and the issues which matter to us.  

Here are two things to do today to make sure you’re ready:

1. Update your voter registration!

Make sure your address is updated, especially if you’ve recently moved.
Click here to get started.

2.  Sign up to volunteer!

We will hold canvasses and phone banks across the state starting after Labor day. Volunteering for union-endorsed candidates is a great way to get out, meet new people, and help Oregon continue to advance policies like raising the minimum wage, paid sick days, and more. Click here to sign up.


The Democratic National Convention is underway in Philadelphia this week, and some familiar faces to Oregon’s union movement spoke to delegates on the first day of the DNC:

Senator Jeff Merkley

Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

The working people of the AFL-CIO proudly congratulate Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential nominee of a major party. Clinton said labor will always have a champion in the White House and a seat at the table if she is president. Clinton stands with working people and believes unions are critical to providing safe, good-paying jobs for people to provide for their families.

She has a strong history advocating for working families. Clinton believes that paid family leave, earned sick days, fair schedules, equal pay for women and quality affordable child care are critical for working families in today's economy.  

My Life Matters to the Labor Movement

The following is from the AFL-CIO Now Blog and was written by Nancy Luc, Chair of the Greater Boston Labor Council Futures Committee

This month has hit me hard with news that not once, but twice, black lives were lost at the hands of police officers. And then even more violence unfolded in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La. While the locations of these most recent events are far from Boston, where I live and work, they have hurt me so deeply I feel I must respond.

The time for “political correctness,” for fear of speaking out, for avoiding the conversation about what is happening in our country has ended. Silence is no longer an option when we are confronted by racist violence. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” We as the labor movement cannot remain silent any longer because silence has equaled consent for too long in this country and has allowed the cycle of violence to continue.

I applaud the statements of our national leaders about these recent events. I was particularly moved that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka proclaimed, “Labor cannot and will not sit on the sidelines when it comes to racial justice.”

The challenge is in translating this strong commitment to our workplaces and our communities across the country. The AFL-CIO’s Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice came to Boston just a few months ago, and I participated in a conversation with local labor leaders about how we can, together, address racism. This was an important step, and I am eager to press on together to confront racism wherever we see it, whether in our movement or in our streets.

If we are truly brothers and sisters as we say we are, then take these words from your sister as a rallying cry and stand shoulder to shoulder with me as we actively work toward changing the way we view each other, changing our justice system and ending all systems of oppression in our country. Listen to what black union members have to say about what is happening in our country and in our unions. Support black leadership in our movement. Join me in the streets when we march for racial justice.

Not everyone reading this will agree with me that the labor movement must take on racism loudly and persistently wherever we see it. As a leader of a young worker group, I feel it is part of my charge to push the labor movement to change and be relevant to the next generation, even if that change can feel uncomfortable. Right now my heart hurts and is heavy, and I am asking you to stand with me, even if it feels uncomfortable. Together, we must show our country and the world which side our movement is on. Will you stand with me in letting the world know that Black Lives Matter to the labor movement?

Weekly Update; Trump is the Problem, Not the Solution

Trump is the Problem, Not the Solution

The Republican National Convention has officially selected Donald Trump as their 2016 presidential nominee. Working people and union leaders have been speaking out against Trump’s nomination, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka who recently spoke out against Trump’s pick for Vice President:

“Congratulations to Donald Trump on the second worst vice presidential pick in history. Everything Donald Trump says shows he is desperate to be working people’s friend, but everything Donald Trump does proves he is our enemy. This decision proves that he does not stand with working families. Mike Pence might be the right choice for Donald Trump, but he’s the wrong choice for America. We need leaders who will bring us together, not tear us apart. Mike Pence once again proves Donald Trump’s true priority of assaulting the rights of working people and helping corporate CEOs line their pockets.”

President Trumka also released a video explaining why Trump is not the solution to our problems, but is the problem:

Michael "Iron Mike" Kilbane, a member of Ironworkers Local 17 in Cleveland, had this to say about the RNC’s choice for President:

“Like all Clevelanders, I welcome the [Republican National Convention] to our fine city. I hope they all can see why we love it so much. I am troubled, however, that the Republican Party has found its way to nominating Donald Trump as its candidate for president. We’ve all heard Trump’s attempted appeal to working people as the candidate that "has our back." It's a ruse. A smokescreen. It's faux populism. A sad attempt to divide the working-class vote of this country. The man is a card-carrying member of the American ruling-class and always has been. Someone who has only known privilege and entitlement his entire life. Someone who values his own personal gain and profit above any other consideration and will do anything to ensure it continues to grow. A close look at Trump’s record as a businessman shows that he would more quickly stab working people in the back than anything else.”

Do you agree with President Trumka and Iron Mike Kilbane? If so, make sure you’re registered to vote and stay tuned for ways to get involved in upcoming election efforts.

Support Workers at the Trump Las Vegas Hotel

This afternoon in Las Vegas thousands of people are rallying in support of the workers at the Trump Las Vegas hotel. Donald Trump wants to "Make America Great Again," but he refuses to negotiate with the workers who make his hotel a success.

In fact, ever since these workers voted to create a union (something he opposed every step of the way), he has refused to meet with them. Meanwhile, they are paid less than their union peers, spend more on health care and don’t get a guaranteed pension. To put it mildly, he is being a second-rate boss.

Stand with the workers who are fighting against Trump to improve their families' lives.

Join our Twitter storm, going on RIGHT NOW, by sharing some of the tweets below. Don’t have a Twitter account? Click on the Facebook posts below to share them on your timeline.

  • Hey @realDonaldTrump negotiate a fair contract with your hotel workers in Las Vegas. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain #StartHere @Culinary226
  • If @realDonaldTrump is so fearless why’s he afraid to negotiate with his workers in Las Vegas? #MakeAmericaGreatAgain #StartHere @Culinary226
  • .@realDonaldTrump’s secret to making $$$ is being a 2nd rate boss. Negotiate w/ your workers in Vegas! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain #StartHere
  • If @realDonaldTrump wants to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain he should #StartHere. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMXgVoL45Hc @Culinary226
  • Hey @realDonaldTrump negotiate with your workers as equals. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain #StartHere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz4Yvjd_UoQ @Culinary226

Rock Against the TPP
is Coming to Oregon!

The biggest challenge we’re facing in the fight to stop the anti-democratic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is that too many people still don’t know what it is.

That’s a real problem. And corporate lobbyists are hoping to exploit it to quietly rush the TPP through Congress this Fall. Fortunately, we’ve got a secret weapon to help sound the alarm: the Rock Against the TPP roadshow.

On Saturday, August 20, thousands of Oregonians will come together to demonstrate their unified opposition to the largest free trade agreement ever: the TPP. Join us for an afternoon teach-in at Portland State University covering the environmental consequences of the TPP, then march with us to a free concert and rally at Director's Park in downtown Portland from 5 - 10pm.

2:00 - 3:30pm: Teach In at PSU
4:00 - 4:45pm: March/Bike Ride (S. Park Blocks)
5:00 - 10:00pm: Concert and Rally Against the TPP (815 SW Park Ave)

Rock Against the TPP is a nationwide uprising and concert tour meant to raise awareness about the threats of the TPP and the likely vote in Congress right after the election. This massive event is sponsored by the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, the Sierra Club, Fight for the Future, Firebrand Records, and many others. For more information and to get your free tickets CLICK HERE.

Featuring: Anti-Flag(acoustic), Golden Globe nominated actress Evangeline Lilly, Downtown Boys, Bell's Roar, Evan Greer, Taina Asili, and more!

If you want to help before or during the show, please fill out the volunteer form here.

Join us for this family-friendly concert with food carts, a beer garden, trade-themed carnival games, and more! Get your free tickets today!

Oregon Strong Voice Summit Registration Deadline Extended

There is still time to register for the 2016 Oregon Strong Voice Summit in Eugene on Friday, July 29.

You can register until Monday, July 25th for this free and exciting event.

Joining us are top-notch trainers from across the country to help with an equally top-notch lineup of workshops, including:

  • Evicting the Housing Crisis - exploring opportunities for strategic innovation in housing policy throughout Oregon
  • Building Power Through the Ballot Box - fighting the anti-worker and anti-immigrant ballot measures in 2016
  • Trail Blazing - grass roots power building for campaigns outside of the Portland metro area
  • Meaningful Coalitions - what do strong partnerships between racial justice non-profits and labor look like?

We will be joined by Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, as well as a panel discussion moderated by Bob Bussel from the UO Labor Education Research Center with Joe Baessler (Political Director of AFSCME council 75), Claire Syrett (Eugene City Councilor), and Jaime Arredondo (Secretary-Treasurer of PCUN) to talk about strategies for building local power, engaging union and community members around the election, and how the fights we face in Oregon are part of the broader progressive struggle nationally and globally.

Don’t miss out! Register today.

If you’ve already registered, please spread the word about the summit
share our Facebook event page.

Weekly Update: Don't Sell Us Short

Action Alert:
Don’t Sell Us Short on Overtime

Congressman Kurt Schrader is pushing a bill in Congress which will change how the new overtime law works - including some bad changes for working people.

The bill being pushed by Congressman Schrader would delay the start of the new law and would get rid of an important provision that indexes the threshold requirements for overtime pay to account for wage growth.  That's not a step forward for working people, it's a step backward.  And we can't afford to keep going in the wrong direction.

Sign the petition today and tell Congressman Schrader not to sell us short on overtime.

Already signed? Share this action with your network:

A Week of Tragedy

Last week saw a series of tragic events: the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five police officers in Dallas, Texas. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released statements last week in response to the violence:

Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the two African-American men who were shot by police within twenty-four hours of each other.

Racism plays an insidious role in the daily lives of all working people of color. This is a labor issue because it is a workplace issue; it is a community issue, and unions are the community. Philando Castile was a union member, and so his family is our family. Last year the AFL-CIO launched a Commission on Racial and Economic Justice to address the issues faced by our brothers and sisters of color and to take a hard look at ourselves to ensure we practice what we preach. The Commission aimed to educate working people on the way racism weakens the collective power of all working people.

It is haunting that only two years ago I delivered a speech in St. Louis in the aftermath of Mike Brown’s death denouncing systemic racism in the United States. Since then, hundreds of people have lost their lives in incidents involving police officers, and African-Americans continue to be disproportionately impacted. Labor cannot and will not sit on the sidelines when it comes to racial justice. It is not enough to simply say “Black Lives Matter.” We must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality.


We mourn the loss of the officers who were shot in the line of duty in Dallas, protecting the right to protest peacefully. Our hearts go out to the victims’ families, the city of Dallas, and the nation.

Violence is never the answer to violence, and two wrongs never make a right. As a nation and as people, we are defined by our values. We are better than this. We categorically reject the idea that anyone can justify anger by murdering police officers or civilians.

It is not enough to want to be better; we have to get better – as human beings, as communities, as a nation. This senseless killing must stop, and we all have to find a way to make it stop.

Machinists Win at Boeing

Our friends at the Northwest Labor Press reported some exciting news from North Portland this week:  Workers at a Boeing paint contractor voted yes to form a union represnted by the IAMAW! Click here for the full story.

Respect & Dignity Wins in Oregon

Thanks to the hard work of thousands of Oregonians, we are proving that respect and dignity are stronger than hate - all three anti-immigrant ballot initiatives failed to qualify for the 2016 election.

The struggle against extremists is not over, however. The extremist organization, Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) continues to coordinate with national hate groups and big out-of-state funders, such as Loren Parks, to target immigrant families in Oregon.

First, they sponsored measures to push immigrants further into the shadows by making English the official language of Oregon, mandate businesses use flawed programs to screen employees, and roll back people's right to vote by cancelling all voter registrations. Because people like you stood up and said this isn’t the Oregon we want, they have shifted their focus.

Now, they are expanding their extremist agenda and are actively working to destroy Oregon’s democratic values. OFIR has teamed up with other conservative interest groups to push two anti-democracy measures designed to:

1.       Roll back Oregon’s progress on important legislative issues; and

2.       Limit voter education.

Loren Parks, the single largest individual donor in Oregon political history, is playing his usual role and is currently the only financial backer of these measures with a sizable financial contribution exceeding $500,000.

On top of that, OFIR has vowed to return next election cycle with their anti-immigrant agenda, and hate is still a dominant theme in this - and the next - election. We are committed to long-term change and we have faith in each other to see this through.

We believe Oregon works best when we support, care, and invest in the health of all our children and protecting our environment. We believe that all workers should be treated with dignity and respect. We believe in protecting people’s right to vote and building movements around people power. But our ability to collectively move progress forward in Oregon is under attack and we have to be vigilant this election cycle.

Oregon Labor Employment Relations Association Opportunity

Oregon’s unions have the opportunity to enroll as a group in the Oregon Labor Employment Relations Association and get substantially reduced rates for membership. Oregon LERA hosts topical breakfast programs and an annual conference.  Registrations are discounted for LERA members.  There will be a two-day conference November on “Who’s the boss? The erosion of the traditional employer/employee relationship.” The current rate is $40 per membership. The new institutional rates are 5-8 members for $200 or 9-12 members for $275. Oregon LERA provides education where labor, management and neutrals are in the same room discussing new developments and problems in employment relations and collective bargaining.  

You can find out other information about LERA at www.oregonlera.com.

Weekly Update: Registration Deadline Alert!

Registration Deadline Alert!

Act fast! Registration deadlines are coming up for LERC’s AFL-CIO Summer School and the 2016 Oregon Strong Voice Summit.

A Step in the Right Direction

On Friday, July 1, over 100,000 Oregonians earning minimum wage received a raise. Within Portland’s urban growth boundary and in urban counties, wages increased from $9.25 per hour to $9.75. In nonurban counties, the minimum wage increased from $9.25 to $9.50. From minimum wage earners to small business owners, Oregonians are applauding the first increase as a strong step forward for our state.

Small business owner Shaun Sieren of the O'Neil Public House in Northeast Portland sees the increase as a way to give local economies a boost:

“The minimum wage increase on July 1t is a good thing, for my business, our customers, and the entire community,” said Sieren. “When folks who earn minimum wage get a raise, it helps everyone. It puts more money in the pockets of working people, and that money gets spent at local businesses and on local goods and services. It’s simple: raising wages makes our local economy stronger.”

For Kasil Kapriel, who earns minimum wage working at Portland International Airport, the increase on July 1t is a step forward, and a promise of hope for something more:

“The minimum wage increase will make a difference for me and my family,” said Kapriel.  “It is a great step, but only the first step. There is more we can do to make sure working families have a shot at a better life. I look forward to continuing to stand with my fellow airport workers, and people across our community in standing up for good jobs, with a living wage, and affordable care. We’ll continue to do whatever it takes for all working families to have a shot at a better life.”

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain explains how raising the minimum wage is just one part of a solution to a crisis facing working people in Oregon:

“In the past six years, the number of people moving to Oregon has increased by 10% while much of our state’s job growth is happening in the low wage sectors of the economy. Combine that trend with housing costs skyrocketing and we have a problem,” said Chamberlain.  “Solving that problem requires a multifaceted approach, and raising wages is central to that approach. We can’t expect Oregon to grow, to prosper, unless working people can afford the basics like housing, groceries, childcare, and transportation. The raise on July 1 is the first step in the right direction for working people in Oregon.”

Business owners and workers who are interested in learning about their minimum wage region and the schedule of raises can visit Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries website to see information about the increase.  Raising the minimum wage was part of the Oregon AFL-CIO’s 2015-16 Legislative Agenda.

The November Ballot

The deadline for ballot measures to qualify for the November ballot is this Friday, July 8th.   Here are a few recent news stories about what to expect in November:

Thinking about Running for Office?

Do you know about the Oregon Labor Candidate School? Since 2012 OLCS has trained union members to run for office, including some names you’re sure to recognize on your ballot this year as well as union members currently in office.

If you’re considering running, read the following message from Oregon Labor Candidate School Executive Director Sara Ryan:

2016 is an exciting year for OLCS. As we start our 5th year training union members to run for political office, we have 7 alumni running for state level elected office, 12 members currently serving in office, and many more sitting on appointed boards and commissions, and stepping up for leadership roles. Does this sound like the right organization for you?

OLCS is currently accepting applications from members for the Portland area class starting in October. Classes are held on the second Saturday of the month, for six months, in different union halls. Our engaging and interactive curriculum is designed to support both the political newbie as well as the experienced campaigner. Union members who are interested in learning more about this 6-month course can contact me for more information, or visit our website at www.oregonlaborcandidateschool.org. You will find the link to apply on the APPLY tab.

If you are wondering if this class is right for you, let's grab some coffee and talk about it. Participants in the program are required to fundraise, attend all classes, and volunteer for political campaigns. Travel scholarships are available for people who have to commute farther than 100 miles. Additionally, if you would like to nominate someone to attend OLCS, please just send me his or her contact information and why you are nominating this member.

In solidarity,

Sara Ryan
Executive Director, OLCS

Weekly Update: The Right Move

The Right Move:
Giving Back to Our Community

Yesterday our friends over at the Northwest Labor Press broke some exciting news: The Oregon AFL-CIO is planning to convert our headquarters into affordable housing for working people.

“If all goes as planned, the Oregon Labor Center will meet a wrecking ball in mid-2017 to make way for a four-story development combining union office space with underground parking and up to 120 units of affordable housing. Union pension funds would pay for it, and union workers would build it. And unlike most residential apartments going up in inner Southeast Portland today, these would be priced at rents affordable to working people.”

image via Northwest Labor Press
Click here to get the story.

One Month Away!

The 2016 Oregon Strong Voice Summit is one month away!

Here’s a recap of what is shaping up to be an amazing event:

  • Keynote address from Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek!
  • Amazing workshops with top-notch presenters, including:
    Evicting the Housing Crisis
    Building Power through the Ballot Box
    Trail Blazing: Grassroots Campaigns
    Meaningful Coalitions

This summit is a unique opportunity to convene labor and community partners from throughout the state to share skills and experiences, learn from experts, and re-energize for a vigorous election season and beyond.

There is no cost to attend the summit, which will be held on July 29 at the University of Oregon campus in Eugene. Click here to sign up. Already signed up? Great! Spread the word:

And if the Summit wasn’t already exciting enough, it coincides with LERC’s AFL-CIO Summer School! Click here to learn more about this exciting event.

Trump’s Ideas Not Welcome in Oregon

Donald trump has campaigned on cynicism, hate, violence and division. That’s not the way we do things in Oregon. Click here if you agree that Trump’s ideas have no place in Oregon.

In his very first speech as a candidate, Trump told reporters “When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best … They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.” In December, he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

image via CBS News

That’s not the Oregon way. His views have no place here. Unfortunately, anti-immigrant forces in Oregon, funded by long-time Bill Sizemore supporter Loren Parks, are bringing Trump’s ideas to our state in the form of three ballot measures:

  • Require More Red Tape In Hiring: The first measure would make every business in Oregon use a flawed federal program to check employment eligibility for all current and future employees, adding more red tape for workers trying to start a job.
  • Eliminate Multi-Lingual Programs: Another measure would restrict all government communications to English. All government information and documents (including those at schools) could only be published in English.
  • Cancel Your Voter Registration: A final measure would cancel every Oregonian’s voter registration until they can provide additional documentation of their identity to the county clerk’s office.

Click here if you agree that Trump’s ideas have no place in Oregon.

Union-Made Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is just a few days away. Make sure you’re stocking up on union-made party supplies for your celebration! Click here to see a list of all the goods you’ll need to celebrate Independence Day.

Supreme Court Update

Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to reopen Friedrichs V. California Teachers Association, leaving intact a 4-4 deadlock and essentially ending the case. Attacks on working people and our unions, however, are far from gone. The Oregon AFL-CIO will continue to monitor these threats and keep you updated.

Image via Bloomberg News

In other Supreme Court news, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement last week regarding United States V. Texas, and what the decision means for working people:

“Today's Supreme Court ruling is a setback for all those who have fought for more humane and rational enforcement of our nation's immigration laws. While we are deeply disappointed by the Court's failure to reach a decision, we will redouble our organizing efforts to defeat the obstructionist, anti-immigrant forces behind this lawsuit and ensure that all working people can assert their rights on the job and in the community without fear of deportation.

This decision will further motivate a resilient community that is a vibrant and vital part of our labor movement. We continue to urge the Administration to use its discretion to protect those courageous immigrant workers who are exercising their workplace and civil rights.”

Weekly Update: We Will Not Be Defeated

We Will Not Be Defeated

Working people at Verizon recently had a major victory, and because of the many sacrifices made and the unity on the picket line and beyond, we came out stronger than we went in.

We sent a clear message: When working people stand together to fight for what is right we will not be defeated. Check out this new video to learn more about the story of how Verizon employees stood up for their rights and won.

National AFL-CIO Endorses
Hillary Clinton

The General Board of the 12.5 million member National AFL-CIO voted last week to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. The endorsement reflects a comprehensive and democratic process initiated a year ago to capture the interests of the people represented by the federation.

Leaders of the Oregon AFL-CIO are reacting to this important endorsement by the National AFL-CIO:

“Hillary Clinton has proven herself to be a leader who shares the values of working people and our unions,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. “She has shown a steadfast commitment to the issues that matter to working people across the country. Donald Trump poses very dire consequences for workers, for unions, and for our country if he’s elected. The labor movement, in Oregon and nationwide, is united against him. That’s why we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work hard to improve the lives of all working people by fighting to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States.”

Oregon AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Barbara Byrd said, “this election is a choice between two forces: a strong voice for us, and a charlatan who absolutely does not value working people. We know Hillary Clinton has the right temperament, the experience, and the values to unite workers across the country in our mission to increase incomes at home and extinguish threats abroad.”

National AFL-CIO Presidential endorsements are determined by a two-thirds vote of the General Board which consists of all members of the Executive Council and the principal officer of each affiliated, national or international union, the principal officer of each trade and industrial department, a representative of each national constituency organization, allied retiree organizations, and young worker organizations recognized by the Federation, a representative of each chartered national community affiliate, and regional representatives of the state, area, and local central bodies selected by the Executive Council pursuant to a system promulgated by the Council.

We Must Do Better:
Latino Workers Face Greater Risk on the Job

Too many Latino workers face disease, major injury and death while laboring in dangerous jobs with inadequate safeguards. In 2014, 804 Latino workers died on the job, with 64% of these fatalities being Latino workers born outside of the United States. Latino worker deaths recently have decreased even though more Latinos are working in the construction industry than ever before: Nearly 70% of new construction jobs between 2012 and 2015 were filled by Latino workers. The job fatality rate among Latino workers has declined by 38% since 2001, when the rate of Latino worker fatalities reached its highest (6.0 per 100,000 workers). But Latino workers continue to be at increased risk of death on the job, with a fatality rate that is 9% higher than for workers overall.

The construction industry is the most deadly industry for Latino and immigrant workers, with 29% of all Latino fatalities and 26% of all immigrant fatalities occurring in this sector. Transportation accounts for 9% of Latino job-related deaths, agriculture for 8% and landscaping services for 8%. The number of Latino worker deaths in oil and gas extraction has increased more than 180% in the past five years.

Of all serious injury and illness cases that are reported, 14% are from Latino workers. Latino and immigrant workers often work in occupations with high rates of injury and in work environments where injuries are severely under-reported. For example, in 2015, an estimated 34% of meat and poultry workers were Latino, and the industry has extremely high rates of repetitive strain injuries, cuts and lacerations, falls due to wet working conditions and chemical exposures. Vulnerable workers, like Latino and immigrant workers, fear raising concerns on the job because of fear of retaliation by employers, like being assigned more dangerous work, getting fired or deported. Vulnerable workers often do not speak English, nor are they informed about their rights on the job.

This decline in Latino worker fatalities over the years did not happen by chance. Latino worker and advocacy communities demanded action from policymakers. Targeted programs informed Latino and immigrant workers that they have safety and health rights in the workplace, such as the right to demand protective controls on the job, to report unsafe working conditions and to refuse unsafe work. This increased attention also led to protective regulations and increased accessibility to training and materials in Spanish. But much more work remains to be done.

What can be done to protect Latino and immigrant working people on the job? We can:

  • Focus on high hazard industries with high Latino and immigrant worker populations;
  • Improve rights for all working people and strengthen collective bargaining laws;
  • Advance immigrant rights so all working people have full workplace protection; and
  • Strengthen whistle blower and anti-retaliation protections for reporting job injuries and hazards.

Read more about Latino and immigrant worker safety and health issues in the 2016 AFL-CIO's Death on the Job report.

New Minimum Wage Rules Announced

Last Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor and Industries’ (BOLI) announced new rules for Oregon’s minimum wage. Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain released the following statement in response to the new rules:

“The Oregon AFL-CIO is pleased that the minimum wage rules presented by BOLI recognize that employees should generally be paid a wage according to the region in which work is being performed. However, we believe the rules could be both stronger and more protective for working people. Under the new rules, an employee must work more than 50% of their time during a pay period in a different region before a different wage is required; a pay period can be an entire month, which means some workers could spend two weeks in a higher wage region without the higher wage being required.

We are generally satisfied with the outcome of rulemaking by BOLI and look forward to seeing thousands of minimum wage earners in Oregon get their first increase on July 1st.”

Weekly Update: Solidarity with Orlando

Solidarity with Orlando

National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler and AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre released the following statement in response to the murder of 49 people at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida:

Bayard Rustin said to be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true. We in the labor movement are not afraid. We are resolved to do everything in our power to make sure this never happens again. The truth as we know it is both devastating and infuriating. Forty-nine souls were lost in a cowardly act of violence. These are our brothers, sisters and friends. At least one was our member.

For the LGBTQ community, clubs like Pulse are a space where people can feel safe and be their true selves. Sunday’s horrific act is a reminder of how fragile that safety can be. While we have made undeniable progress toward equality, too many in our country still face derision, discrimination and violence. These flames of hatred have been fanned by those in public life who want to marginalize an entire group of people for political gain. It’s despicable and it must stop.

But this was more than just an attack on the LGBTQ community. The victims were overwhelmingly young and Latino. Sunday’s massacre was an assault on everything our movement stands for: equality, justice, solidarity and inclusion.

It was also an extraordinarily difficult situation for our first responders, who had the traumatic job of sorting the dead from the living, effectively working in a war zone. We thank the police, firefighters and health care providers who saved lives and continue to care for the injured. We will stand with them in the trying days ahead.

Labor is one big family, made up of people of all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities. As a family, we will work to provide comfort to our brothers and sisters in Orlando and across the United States. And we will make it our daily mission to ensure America’s workplaces and union halls are safe and free from bigotry.

There will be some who try to use this tragedy to further divide us, to pit communities against each other and scapegoat entire faith traditions. Let us be perfectly clear: giving in to division and fear will only add insult to injury. This is a moment for us to come together, embrace our common humanity and take the necessary steps to make our country safer, stronger and more united.

In Portland, union members will participate in the annual Portland Pride Parade on Sunday, June 19th to show our solidarity with the LGBTQ movement and to send the message that working people are united against hate. If you’re interested in joining us, please click here for information about where to meet up.

Stand Up for Union Jobs at
Nabisco / Mondelez

Tomorrow, June 16 at 10:00am, union members and activists will rally outside of the Mondelez Plant in North Portland in support of keeping Nabisco products made in the United States. Click here to learn more about the event.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Crew Ratifies Contract!

The run crew of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) voted 61-0 Monday night in favor of ratifying their first-ever union contract.  

The contract is the culmination of 665 days of joining in union among the crew members, who provide all stage operations, wardrobe, hair and wig, lighting, video, and sound services for the festival, which was founded in 1935. Effective June 13, 2016, to November 14, 2019, the contract will provide the crew improved wages, job security with full-time work and a defined disciplinary procedure, protected benefits, increased vacation and sick time, and a labor management committee.

“We work alongside some of the best technicians in the industry, and for one of the best theatres in the country,” said Amanda Sager, OSF Sound Engineer. “Through this process we’ve worked together to create an environment which allows and encourages every employee to do their best work, and every patron to have the best possible experience.”

With the ratification of the contract, the women and men of the OSF show run crew will form the new IATSE Local 154, chosen for the number of William Shakespeare’s collection of sonnets. IATSE Local 154 was the Seattle-based projectionist local from 1908 to 1999, and the local number will be carried on by sisters and brothers that spoke up together to create a better workplace.

The OSF crew were indivisible throughout the entire organizing and negotiating process. The negotiating team for the entertainment workers consisted of representatives from each of the festival’s nine backstage departments: Jack Buckley (Stage Operations); Cara Wade and Courtney Cunningham (Wardrobe); Rosey Johnson and Devon Ash (Hair and Wigs); Maria Chunn and Sarah McKenney (Lighting); and Amanda Sager and Valerie Lawrence (Sound).

“The crew became more unified through the process of negotiating of the contract knowing that it would result in fairness and equity for all,” said IATSE International Representative Christopher “Radar” Bateman.

Are you Registered?

Don't miss out on the Oregon Strong Voice Summit and LERC/AFL-CIO Summer School!  Click here to register for the Summit and click here for Summer School.