Weekly Update: Good News from Oregon State University!
June 6, 2018
United Academics of Oregon State Move Forward
Yesterday, UAOSU announced that a strong majority of OSU faculty have signed union authorization cards and they have filed a petition for certification of their union with the Oregon Employment Relations Board! Congratulations on your hard work and on standing together to build your union!
The Latest Oregon AFL-CIO Endorsements
Yesterday, the Oregon AFL-CIO COPE (Committee on Political Education) Board made endorsements in dozens of races around the state. These endorsements will be our roadmap to electing leaders and passing ballot measures to give every Oregon worker a fair shot at prosperity and the economic freedom we all deserve.
Click here to see the latest endorsements and stay tuned for more information about upcoming Labor 2018 volunteer events.
Register today for Oregon AFL-CIO & UO-LERC
August 3 – 5, 2018 at the University of Oregon in Eugene
Click here to register and for more information about Summer School
As recent events in Oregon and across the nation confirm, the fighting spirit of the union movement is alive and well. Please join us for a weekend of exciting classes and thoughtful discussion that will help you develop your leadership skills and become part of launching a new era in Oregon unionism.
June 17: Portland Pride Parade
Oregon’s labor movement will be marching in the 2018 Pride Parade! Get all the details here.
June 18: Rally to Save Customer Service in Portland
The Portland area local of the American Postal Workers Union is hosting a rally to call attention to staffing issues at area Post Offices and Processing Plants. Get all the details here.
June 23: Take Action for Corporate Accountability and Transparency
Join us in Portland on June 23 to gather signatures to put Initiative Petition 25 onto the November ballot. IP 25 requires publicly traded corporations to provide voters and lawmakers a public record of their Oregon taxes. This is a critical step toward making Oregon’s tax system fair and for us to be able to properly fund our education, healthcare, infrastructure improvements and other vital services that working people depend on. Click here for more information about this important event.
Support for Laborers Local 483's Metro Zoo & Parks Equity Proposals
Please join Laborers' Local 483 in our call to reduce inequality for people of color and women employed at Metro Zoo & Parks. In the bargaining process, we have proposed living wages, a consistent healthcare stipend, and more opportunities for permanent employment. These measures will narrow existing wage gaps and work to advance Metro's own equity goals. We believe these efforts will not only enrich Metro's workforce, but the Portland community as a whole. Click here to sign the petition.
UNITE HERE Calls on Marriott to Fight Sexual Harassment in Global Hospitality Industry
In recent years, UNITE HERE members across North America have taken the lead in challenging sexual harassment and sexual violence in the hospitality industry. The union has put the issue at the forefront of its political agenda, in bargaining new contracts—and now, in its global campaigns.
In partnership with the International Union of Food Workers (IUF) and the AFL-CIO, UNITE HERE convened a group of Marriott workers from around the world to meet in Geneva on May 29, to present Marriott International—the world's largest hotel company—with demands on ending sexual harassment across its global operations. At the International Labour Conference, where negotiations are currently underway on a new legal standard on violence at work, Marriott workers shared their own experiences of sexual violence and harassment on the job.
As they made clear, sexual harassment is an open secret across the hospitality industry, everywhere in the world. The problem is not worse at Marriott properties. But Marriott is, increasingly, reshaping the global hotel industry through its aggressive expansion, and given its sheer size and economic power, it has the responsibility to take leadership on this issue. There are nearly 6,500 Marriott hotels around the world and, on average, a new one opens every day. Marriott's annual profits total almost $1 billion.
The content of the global demands on Marriott reflected not only the testimony of workers in the room, but also hundreds of interviews conducted by hotel unions affiliated with the IUF in the months leading up to the meeting. Workers shared horrific experiences of guests grabbing them, exposing themselves, propositioning them and attempting rape. They made clear that the hotel industry needed to implement a set of commonsense measures:
- Training staff at all levels.
- Reducing precarious work, as a critical step to reducing vulnerability.
- Limiting the isolation of workers in jobs such as housekeeping.
- Protecting against retaliation for reporting harassment and abuse.
- Installing panic buttons in guest rooms to ensure that security can be alerted immediately.
- Blacklisting guests with a record of harassing or abusing workers.
- Putting in place an independent oversight body to receive and investigate complaints.
Unions affiliated with the IUF, including UNITE HERE, have demanded that Marriott negotiate a global agreement with the IUF on sexual harassment, based on the demands above.
For UNITE HERE, this campaign builds on protections won by their members in locals across the United States. In cities like New York and Chicago, hotel workers have won panic buttons and other important measures through collective bargaining. In Seattle and Chicago, workers launched citywide campaigns and secured protections through local ordinances.
Additionally, hotel workers in the United States already have made their opinions on sexual harassment known to Marriott. On May 4, eight Marriott hotel workers attended the company's annual shareholder meeting in Washington, D.C., demanding that Marriott—as the world's largest hotel brand—step up and lead the fight to end sexual harassment. Instead, as they told the company's shareholders, Marriott is part of a coalition trying to delay and block implementation of Initiative 124, the ordinance in Seattle.
In joining with hotel workers from around the world with these demands, UNITE HERE members are demanding that this global corporation negotiate a global solution to a global problem.