Oregon AFL-CIO Convention Takes to Streets of Warrenton and Astoria

Seaside, Oregon – Today, over 200 delegates and guests of the 56th Convention of the Oregon AFL-CIO took to the streets of Warrenton and Astoria to stand up and speak out for workers at Fred Meyer and at Columbia Memorial Hospital. Delegates were excited to take action in support of grocery workers who are facing a gap in pay between female and male employees, and to support the nurses of Columbia Memorial Hospital who are fighting for a fair contract.

The Oregon AFL-CIO has organized actions at Fred Meyer stores around the state as part of the Fix the Gap campaign, which calls on Fred Meyer management to cease the practice of disproportionately placing women onto a lower pay schedule. In Warrenton, participants held a flash mob inside the store while others picketed and marched outside.  Click here to see the video from this exciting event.

Following the action at Fred Meyer, participants joined nurses from the Oregon Nurses Association at Columbia Memorial Hospital to march in downtown Astoria.  Nurses at the hospital are calling for a consistent schedule as well as a guaranteed voice in the number of patients assigned to a nurse. Hospital administration will not come to the bargaining table. The last mediation session was August 23.  Bargaining was set to resume on September 17, but administration did not show up. The nurses’ contract expired on May 31.

“The North Coast community does not deserve this kind of treatment by the hospital administration,” said Nicholas Bowling, vice chairperson of the negotiations team and a nurse at CMH. “Their unwillingness to bargain is compromising the care of our patients. We will not back down on our demand for contract protections that guarantee our nurses a voice in setting safe staffing levels.”

“When we gather our movement together at our Convention, it’s important that we get out of the conference rooms and into the streets to put solidarity into action,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. “Solidarity is the blood of the union movement, and by showing up for each other’s struggles we make our voices louder and more powerful.”

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