We Want a Voice

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: We Want a Voice
May 2, 2018


We Want A Voice:
Uber and Lyft Drivers Speak Out at Portland City Hall

On Monday, drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft along with City Commissioner Nick Fish, union members, and community allies gathered outside of Portland City Hall to demand a voice in how app-based transportation companies (also called transportation network companies) operate with the city. The rally is part of our Transportation Fairness campaign. Learn more and send a letter to Portland City Council by clicking here.


In a guest opinion published in The Oregonian on Sunday, April 29 Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain and app-based driver Owen Christofferson explained why local regulation of companies like Uber is critical:

“We are standing together as Transportation Fairness Portland to address issues including fair compensation, lack of transparency, how app-based companies' rating systems operate, and improvements regarding insurance.”

“When we speak with drivers at the app-based company lot at Portland International Airport or at driver gatherings, it becomes clear that the public is not seeing the reality for these drivers. Uber's testimony at Seattle City Council and in committee hearings in the Oregon Legislature in 2017 made driving for app-based companies seem like a lucrative choice. This is an effort to make the companies and the so-called 'Gig Economy' appeal for their entrepreneurship and independence. The truth is most drivers are not earning a decent living, and without local policy oversight of app-based companies, we may never.”

Take Action: Tell Portland City Council it’s time for drives and the community to have a voice in how companies like Uber operate.


Take Action

  • Support Oregon AFSCME & Volunteers of America Workers
    Volunteers of America Oregon has spent thousands of dollars meant for client care on union busting attorneys. VOA Board Members need to step up and do their job to help settle a contract. Sign the petition today!
  • Support ATU Local 757 Special Education School Bus Drivers at the PPS Board!
    Please join PPS drivers and our allies at next Portland Public School Board meeting to demand that PPS sign a FAIR CONTRACT NOW! The rally will be held at the PPS Offices at 501 N. Dixon Street in Portland on Tuesday, May 8 at 6pm. Click here for more information.

It’s Time to Vote!

The Primary Election is upon us, and Oregon’s union members consistently turn out to vote in higher numbers than the general public. This year is no exception, but it’s up to you to fill out and return your ballot before 8pm on Tuesday, May 15.   Make sure to check out our endorsement page on our website: www.oraflcio.org/vote

The race for Labor Commissioner is an especially important race. We have endorsed Val Hoyle, because of her proven commitment to workers’ rights and her priorities as a candidate. Val Hoyle has the passion and the experience we need in our Labor Commissioner. For more reasons why we support Val Hoyle, make sure to visit. www.workingpeopleforvalhoyle.com

If you need more information about your ballot or how to vote, make sure to visit www.oregonvotes.gov.


Have You Checked Out Our Podcast?

Last week we proudly announced the launch of The Voice of Oregon’s Workers – a new podcast from the Oregon AFL-CIO.   Click here to listen to our inaugural episode featuring insights and history of May Day. You are now able to find our podcast on iTunes and Stitcher. Stay tuned for our next episode later this month.


Thank You, Congresswoman Bonamici!

Last week, the Congressional Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions held a hearing entitled, “Worker-Management Relations: Examining the Need to Modernize Federal Labor Law.” Unfortunately for workers, anti-worker members of Congress called the hearing to propose crippling people’s rights to stand together and advocate for better wages and working conditions.


Oregon’s own Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici spoke up on behalf of our right to organize. Click here to watch the video. Thank you, Congresswoman Bonamici!


Workers Memorial Day

On Friday, April 27, the Oregon AFL-CIO and Oregon OSHA hosted the annual observation of Workers Memorial Day. Joined by representatives from Governor Kate Brown’s office and by State Representative Teresa Alonso Leon, the ceremony honored each worker and member of the armed services who died on the job in 2017. Click here to see a video of this year’s service.



Stamp Out Hunger on May 12

For the 26th year in a row, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will be conducting its "Stamp Out Hunger" Food Drive.  This year's partners for the food drive include: the AFL-CIO, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the U.S. Postal Service, United Way Worldwide, Valpak and Valassis.

Every year on the second Saturday in May, postal carriers, in addition to their regular workload, collect food from people in more than 10,000 cities across the country. Each year, it is the largest one-day food drive in the world. Click here to learn more.