(BEND, OR) The 55th Biennial Convention of the Oregon AFL-CIO adjourned today in Bend following two days of inspiring speeches and recommitment to the fight for economic and social justice. The theme of the convention is ‘resist today, build for tomorrow’ which encapsulates the Oregon AFL-CIO’s mission to defend all working people, fight for an economy where everyone can prosper, and to prepare for attacks on the freedom to stand together in union.
Oregon AFL-CIO delegates voted unanimously to endorse Governor Kate Brown’s reelection campaign on Saturday.
“Governor Brown has stood by our side,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. “She has shown time and time again that she is a leader who will do everything she can to make Oregon a state where working people prosper. In the 2017 Oregon Legislature she worked hard to ensure transportation funding passed, signed the Rural Oregon Worker Protection Act (Senate Bill 1040) into law, and has continuously advocated for working people. That’s why we endorsed her today, and that’s why we will work hard to help reelect her next year.”
The Oregon AFL-CIO also honored three Oregon legislators who have shown outstanding advocacy for working people: Representative Dan Rayfield (House District 16) was named 2017 Legislator of the Year for his efforts in helping pass the Rural Oregon Worker Protection Act in 2017 as well as for his work in extending unemployment insurance for locked-out steelworkers. State Senator Arnie Roblan (Senate District 5) was named 2017 Union Defender for his exemplary support of multiple pieces of legislation to protect and expand collective bargaining rights for working people. State Senator James Manning (Senate District 7) was named 2017 Rookie of the Year for being a strong voice for workers in the Senate Democratic Caucus and because his lived experience is reflected by his advocacy for working peoples’ values in the legislature.
Convention delegates heard speeches from national and local labor and community leaders and elected officials. The nearly 300 union delegates also voted on resolutions which will guide the Oregon AFL-CIO’s mission for the next two years. The resolutions reflect the convention theme as well, and empower the Oregon AFL-CIO to engage on issues including gender justice, healthcare, immigrant rights, American manufacturing and more. Delegates held a rally on Saturday to condemn President Trump’s revocation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to stand against the type of hatred which was on display last month in Charlottesville.