Weekly Update: Summer Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Oregon Strong Voice Summit
& AFL-CIO Summer School

Get ready for a weekend of solidarity, sharing knowledge, and planning for the future! July 29-31 in Eugene is full of events you won’t want to miss.

Oregon Strong Voice Summit

Oregon Strong Voice is a statewide network of regional alliances between labor unions and community-based organizations. We work together to maximize our collective power at the grassroots level so that we can build a stronger Oregon.

Since our last summit in 2014, we’ve been working at the local level on issues ranging from affordable housing, income inequality, and removing barriers to employment, to fighting anti-immigrant and anti-worker attacks. We’ve also had successes electing strong progressive candidates to local offices.

This summit will be a unique opportunity to convene labor and community partners from throughout the state to share skills and experiences, learn from experts, and re-energize for a vigorous election season and beyond. There is no cost to attend the summit.

Workshops include:

  • Evicting the Housing Crisis
    Exploring opportunities for strategic innovation in housing policy throughout Oregon
  • Building Power Through the Ballot Box
    Fighting the anti-worker and anti-immigrant ballot measures in 2016
  • Trail Blazing
    Grass roots power building for campaigns outside of the Portland metro area
  • Meaningful Coalitions
    What do strong partnerships between racial justice non-profits and labor look like?

Click here to register online, read descriptions of workshops, and more.

LERC’s AFL-CIO Summer School  

The Summer School program is designed for labor union members and members of organizations working to promote a strong organized labor and worker justice movement. The 2016 AFL-CIO Summer School will focus on how we build strong unions and a strong movement for social change.

Join us for workshops on:

Steward Skills, workplace organizing & labor history

New this year: Community strategies for winning affordable housing; inspiring members through music, art, and grassroots digital story telling; and tools to address racial and gender justice.

Click here to read complete course descriptions and to register online.

A Better Oregon Moving Forward

The campaign to make the world’s largest corporations pay their fair share is moving forward in Oregon.  

Last week, the A Better Oregon campaign turned in over 85,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Click here to get the scoop and learn more about the campaign.

Oregon’s CEOs Paid 327 Times Average Worker; Outsourcing Results in Even Higher Inequality

(Portland, OR) – CEO pay for major companies in Oregon continues to soar as income inequality and outsourcing of good-paying American jobs increases. Outsourcing has become a hot presidential election topic with candidates calling out corporations who say they need to save money by sending jobs overseas. Meanwhile, according to the new AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, the average Oregon CEO made over $13 million per year in 2015 – 327 times more money than the average worker.

The Executive PayWatch website, the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay, showed that in 2015, the average production and nonsupervisory Oregon worker earned approximately $41,601 per year, a wage that when adjusted for inflation, has remained stagnant for 50 years.

“These numbers demonstrate the unacceptable levels of income inequality that exist here in Oregon and around the country,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. “This is a disgrace and we must stop Wall Street CEOs from continuing to profit on the backs of working people. We need to focus on raising wages for all, creating and keeping good jobs here and reversing these unfair and unjust trends.”

New Report Shows TPP is Disastrous for Working People

National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain react to the International Trade Commission’s report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and what the report means for working people in Oregon and across the county:

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

This ITC report is so damaging that any reasonable observer would have to wonder why the Administration or Congress would spend even one more day trying to turn this disastrous proposal into a reality. Even though it's based on unrealistic assumptions, the report could not even produce a positive result for U.S. manufacturing and U.S. workers. One of many shockers is just how meager the purported benefits of the TPP are. A mere .15% of GDP growth over 15 years is laughably small—especially in comparison to what we’re being asked to give up in exchange for locking in a bonanza of rights and privileges for global corporations. Even though the report fails to account for currency manipulation, wage suppression and the negative impacts of uninspected food imports and higher drug costs, the study still projects the TPP will cost manufacturing jobs and exacerbate our trade deficit.  

Statement by Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain:

The latest report from the International Trade Commission reinforces the Oregon labor movement’s firm position in opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership: This free trade agreement is going to cost working people in Oregon dearly. We’ve been here before. Since the passage of the North America Free Trade Agreement over 50,000 Oregon workers were certified by the Department of Labor as having lost their jobs due to trade. This new report from the ITC shows we are headed down the exact same road as NAFTA, and that is not something our state and working people can afford to have happen – especially with a dismal .15% of GDP growth over 15 years. As an Oregonian, I encourage our members of Congress to look at this report closely and think about what impact the TPP will have on working people in our state.

Click here to read the International Trade Commission’s report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.