Weekly Update: One Week Left

Election Day

Election Day is next Tuesday, and we’re expecting the biggest voter turnout in Oregon’s history. With so much at stake this year, it’s crucial for every union member and advocate for working people to vote.

Here’s what you need to know before next Tuesday:

  • Volunteering
    We have canvassing and phone banking opportunities available for volunteers starting at 10am each day until Election Day. Reply to this email if you’re interested in helping get out the vote!

Senators Wyden & Merkley Stand Up for Jobs, National Security

In a letter sent to President Barack Obama today, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., led 12 senators who urged the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to reject the proposed purchase of Aleris Co., by China-based Zhongwang International Group.

Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Bob Casey, D-Penn., Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.,  Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Al Frankin, D-Minn., also signed the letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

The senators wrote that the proposed purchase would undermine U.S. national security by risking transfer of sensitive technologies and impair U.S. capacity to produce advanced aluminum products, including defense-grade armor, aerospace and other applications.

“Zhongwang’s purchase of Aleris would directly undermine our national security, including by jeopardizing the U.S. manufacturing base for sensitive technologies in an industry already devastated by the effects of China’s market distorting policies, and creating serious risk that sensitive technologies and knowhow will be transferred to China, further imperiling U.S. defense interests,” the senators wrote.

United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard also voiced concerned about the purchase:

“The purchase of Aleris by Zhongwang USA, LLC, held by China Zhongwang Holdings Limited, a Chinese company known for its evasion of US trade laws has raised great concern among USW’s leadership and our members working in the aluminum sector. Aleris’ assets are critical to not only our national security, but our domestic infrastructure and we are pleased to have these 12 Senators led by Senator Wyden sharing our concerns,” Gerard said.

Grab ‘Em by the Ballot

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, along with the women of America’s labor movement, have a message heading into the final days of the 2016 presidential election: Get out the vote and "grab 'em by the ballot!"

Latina Equal Pay Day

Yesterday was Latina Equal Pay Day, another reminder of the work we must do to close the wage gap for all working people. Latinas receive almost half the pay of white males; we can do better than that as a country. Next Tuesday we have an opportunity to take a step in the direction of progress.

We have to elect leaders who will champion policies designed to close the wage gap. That’s why who you vote for in this election is so important and why we endorse leaders up and down the ballot who are dedicated to making life better for all working people.

Workers at Daimler Ratify Contract

Our friends at the Northwest Labor Press have written up an insightful look into the newly ratified contract between Daimler and four unions including Machinists Lodge 1005, Teamsters Local 305, Painters Local 1094, and SEIU Local 49.

“Members were looking for job security, a general wage increase, and containment of health care costs, and we got all those things,” said lead negotiator Joe Kear of Machinists District Lodge W24.  

Click here to read more about the ratification at Daimler.