Portland Diamond Project and Oregon AFL-CIO Finalize Historic Labor Harmony Agreement

Portland, OR – July 29, 2019 – Portland Diamond Project (PDP), the organization working to bring Major League Baseball to Portland, joined the Oregon AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations) and its affiliated unions Monday at the Oregon AFL-CIO union hall to sign a labor harmony agreement, proactively committing to allowing employees working at Portland’s future ballpark to organize and join a union. The agreement represents a first of its kind for sports arenas in Oregon.

A labor harmony agreement—sometimes called a labor peace agreement—establishes rules for union organizing between an employer and the unions that could represent employees in the future.

“By signing this agreement, the Portland Diamond Project has shown us they value and respect the rights of working people and care for the prosperity of the community,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. “Oregon’s unions are proud to be a part of the efforts to bring baseball to the Rose City and to be a part of the only unionized sports arena in the state of Oregon.  By giving workers the unfettered opportunity for union representation, we are securing a bright economic future for the women and men who will make baseball happen in Portland. When working people stand together in unions, we get a fair return on our hard work.”

The agreement includes terms for future employees working in concessions, program and retail sales, property service and security, hospitality service, stage and theatrical presentations, and entertainment and audio/visual services. Agreements regarding ballpark construction jobs and other community benefits will be addressed at a later date.

“Unions and their hard-working members are essential to a regional economy that works for working people,” said Portland Diamond Project Founder and President Craig Cheek. “We are proud to partner with the Oregon AFL-CIO and the State Federation’s affiliated unions to ensure that Portland is better with baseball—and that baseball is better with our labor community. This agreement is just the beginning of PDP’s efforts to generate economic opportunities for Portlanders and people across the region.”

“With the Portland Diamond Project working hand in hand with our labor community to advance this historic agreement, the region will see the economic benefits created by a new ballpark shared across our community,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “This labor agreement is a significant milestone on our path to bringing a Major League Baseball team to Portland. The energy behind this movement continues to grow each day.”

“The announcement today represents a collaborative effort to create living wage jobs,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “As we consider what Major League Baseball could mean for our community, it’s important that we work together to create economic opportunity for those who need it most. This labor agreement is a strong first step.”

“Labor peace agreements have the power to help workers not only here locally, but all over the country,” said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson. “Our requirement for a Labor Peace Agreement at the Hyatt Regency at the Oregon Convention Center laid the groundwork for Hyatt and unions to have productive discussions about employee rights and benefits nationwide. I hope that the work to bring Major League Baseball to Portland also sets the stage for similar agreements elsewhere.”

Labor unions included in this harmony agreement include the Oregon AFL-CIO; Oregon AFSCME Council 75; International Association of Machinists District w24 Lodge; UNITE HERE Local 8; International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council No. 5; IATSE Local 28; IATSE Local B-20, IATSE Local 793. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555; UA Local 290; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48; IUOE Local 701; Public Service And Industrial Employees (Laborers Local 737); Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 16; Boilermakers Local 104l; and SAG-AFTRA Portland.

For more information about the effort to bring Major League Baseball to Portland, visit http://portlanddiamondproject.com.