Weekly Update: Standing Up, Speaking Out

Standing Up, Speaking Out

This weekend, working people in Portland and Salem are standing up and speaking out at two important events.  Here’s what you need to know to get out there and make your voice heard:

Immigrant Rights Day of Action, Jan. 14

For generations, immigrants have made Oregon a stronger, more vibrant state.

On January 20, the new Trump administration will be sworn in. They’ve promised to start tearing apart hundreds of thousands of immigrant families that call Oregon home from day one.  We cannot sit by while they target members of our communities. Let’s send a message of hope to Oregonians in every corner of our state.  Join us for a National Day of Action prior to Trump’s Inauguration as President.

United for Immigrant Rights
Saturday, January 14
11:30 a.m.
Oregon State Capitol
RSVP here: http://bit.ly/2gUxNHp

Save Health Care Rally, Jan. 15

Join Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici in Portland on Sunday, January 15 at a rally to save our health care system. President-elect Trump and his allies in Congress want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash Medicare and Medicaid, and defund vital health care programs across the country. It's up to us to speak out, stand tall, and rally the American people to stop them.

Save Health Care Rally
Sunday, January 15
SEI, 3920 N Kerby Ave, Portland, Oregon 97227.
RSVP here: http://signherenow.org/save-health-care-rally/

Changes to Oregon’s Overtime Laws

In case you missed it, Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has changed how it interprets overtime laws and these changes could mean fair pay for workers at Portland Specialty Baking.   Head over to Northwest Labor Press to learn the latest.

Workers’ Voices Must Be Heard in Trade Deals

The AFL-CIO is urging President-elect Donald Trump and his recent pick for U.S. trade representative to make sure workers’ rights at the top of the list of demands during trade negotiations. Click here to read more.

What if Jeff Sessions Were Your Boss?

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was nominated as attorney general, and hearings for his nomination are currently underway. Many are discussing the long, terrible record that Sessions has, but we thought it would be interesting to imagine what it would be like to actually work for Sessions. This is speculative fiction, of course, but based on the things he's said and done over the years (click on the link after each entry to read more about Sessions and that topic). But here's what we think it could be like to work for Sessions.


  • Sessions sends out an e-mail taking credit for the work done by the organization's civil rights committee, lauding himself as a hero for the work he did in protecting and expanding people's rights. He never attended the committee's meetings and contributed nothing to their report. (Read more about Sessions on this topic.)
  • After overhearing a male African American employee chastize a white subordinate who made a costly mistake, Sessions takes the African American employee aside and says, "Boy, you should be careful what you say to white folks." Sessions gives the white subordinate a raise. (Read more.)
  • A job search committee led by Sessions refuses to advance a Muslim applicant out of "security fears." (Read more.)


  • Sessions forwards an article from white nationalist platform Breitbart. When asked if sharing such an article is appropriate in the workplace, Sessions says he's "just sharing it, nobody has to agree with it." (Read more.)
  • After receiving a complaint that an employee drove a car to work that has a Confederate flag bumper sticker, Sessions calls a work meeting to lecture employees that the flag celebrates the fabulous accomplishments of "our history." (Read more.)


  • Sessions brings everyone into his office to show them his awards shelf. It includes the Annie Taylor Award from the David Horowitz Freedom Center (an organization known for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry); the Keeper of the Flame Award from the Center for Security Policy (another virulently anti-Muslim group that argues that Black Lives Matter has aligned with Islamic supremacists); the Phyllis Schlafly Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Eagle Forum (Schlafly argued that Latino immigrants don't understand the Bill of Rights and that "they're running an illegitimacy rate that's just about the same as the blacks are"); and the Defender of the Rule of Law Award from anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA. (Read more.)
  • An employee who is overheard speaking in Spanish on her phone is warned by Sessions to only speak English at work. (Read more.)


  • Two employees talking about membership in the American Civil Liberties Union and Sessions learns about it. He interrogates the workers for several hours, noting that the ACLU is "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" and those employees are never again approved for raises or promotions. One of them, an African American, is later fired over an improperly filed travel voucher. The other, who is white, is referred to by Sessions as a disgrace to his race for being part of the ACLU. (Read more.)
  • Sessions makes a "joke" during a meeting that the Ku Klux Klan used to be OK until he learned that some of them were pot smokers. (Read more.)


  • Sessions reprimands an employee for listening to U2 at his desk, since Sessions read an article from the Center for Security Policy that claims that U2 lead singer Bono is a tool of militant Islam. (Read more.)
  • A worker who has a Black Lives Matter sticker on their iPhone is given a formal warning by Sessions that they will be fired if they bring the sticker to work again. (Read more.)
  • A white-owned company with a shoddy record of cost and time overruns is given a contract by Sessions over that of a company owned by a black woman who produces better results, cheaper and quicker. (Read more.)