Lane County Strike Ends

Tentative Agreement Reached in Lane County

Following nine months of negotiations and a historic six-day strike, the members of AFSCME Local 2831, Lane County, have a tentative agreement. Workers returned to work today at their regularly scheduled shifts and got back to serving the Lane County community. Through the strength and solidarity of the picket lines and the incredible community support garnered, AFSCME Local 2831 was able to bring the County back to the table and work towards this agreement.

“We are so proud of all of members who held the line for the last six days. We were standing up for our community, our wages, healthcare, and respect! Together we held strong and have built a stronger organization for the fights ahead. We would like to thank our fellow unions, citizens, and the many small businesses who supported us through this. We want to express to the community how excited we are to get back to work serving Lane County,” said LaRece Rivera, President Local 2831.

Workers were able to secure concessions from the County’s implemented agreement on healthcare implementation date, a one-time hardship subsidy for low-wage workers to offset the increased cost of healthcare, future compensation studies, and job security for so-called reoccurring temporary employees.

“These members are incredible. Their strike served as inspiration for workers across this community, state, and country! Their steadfast resolve on the picket line moved this County and built a stronger union for the future,” said Stacy Chamberlain, Executive Director Oregon AFSCME.

Local 2831 will hold a vote on the tentative agreement in the next couple weeks to ratify the agreement.

“Wall-to-Wall Internal Organizing”

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain was recently featured alongside prominent labor leaders in People’s World about the importance of internal organizing efforts in preparation for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Janus V. AFSCME:

“….Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain conducted a summit in August on internal organizing “to drive home the message that we are in a war for the heart and soul of workers in America.” That included steward training and organizer training for multiple unions in his state.”

The article sheds light on how the Janus case got to the Supreme Court:

“….a case by the right-wing National Right to Work Committee to ban unions from collecting dues or agency fees from all those state and local workers as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment free speech clause.

The RTW (Right to Work) group recruited Mark Janus, a dissenter in an AFSCME-represented workplace, to say that by the very act of collecting the money, the union – through state action—forces him to support political stands he disagrees with. The original complainer, right-wing Gov. Bruce Rauner, R-Ill., has conducted a three-year war to destroy public worker unions. Rauner tried to bring the case himself, but lower courts threw him out of it because he isn’t directly helped or hurt by the fees, or the free speech curbs.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

National AFL-CIO Convention Wraps Up

The National AFL-CIO Convention adjourned today in St. Louis, and it has been exciting watching America’s unions come together to pass resolutions, discuss the issues facing working people, and reelect AFL-CIO officers! Oregon’s own Liz Shuler was reelected to serve as the AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer, alongside President Richard Trumka and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre.

“Serving as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO has been the greatest honor of my life and I’m confident that together, we will adapt to the challenges ahead and secure the future of our movement,” Shuler said. “As we look ahead, we realize the future of our movement isn’t far off, and it won’t be easy. But nothing worth doing ever is.”

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain speaks at the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention about the importance of making gender and racial justice a priority in order to grow the union movement.

For more news from St. Louis, here is a breakdown of each day of the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention: