Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: Supporting Les Schwab Workers
December 6, 2017
Supporting Les Schwab Workers
An article in the Bend Bulletin this week explains why the Oregon AFL-CIO has filed paperwork in a lawsuit over meal breaks at Les Schwab Tire Centers:
The Oregon AFL-CIO has weighed in with a friend-of-the-court brief on a Multnomah County civil suit against Les Schwab Tire Centers over its employees’ half-hour meal breaks.
The union in late October filed its 24-page brief, with another 46 pages of exhibits attached, in support of Michael Palmateer, a former Les Schwab Tire Center employee. Palmateer alleges the tire company “routinely failed to provide” its employees with 30-minute meal breaks for every six to eight hours worked.
Standing Together in Springfield
Last week, more than 350 respiratory therapists, pharmacy technicians and other healthcare professionals in the technical unit at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, Ore., voted overwhelmingly to join the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, AFT Local 5017.
Adrienne Enghouse, executive president of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, AFT Local 5017 explained what this victory means for healthcare workers, and the community:
“This is an exciting day for our union and for this community. As healthcare workers, our working conditions are our patients' healing conditions. When we have a voice at work through our union, we have the power to be the advocates our patients need. Coming together to form a union is the way healthcare workers claim their voice to push back on the corporate agenda and stand up for our patients and communities.”
Stand with Volunteers of America Workers on Saturday in Portland
Workers at Volunteers of America in Portland are STILL fighting for a contract after an overwhelming majority voted to stand together in union over a year ago. Meanwhile, Kay Toran, Executive Director of Volunteers of America Oregon makes 700% more than her average employee.
That’s not right, and that’s why we are encouraging union members and supporters of VOA workers to join us in support of the workers at a rally on Saturday, December 9 in Portland. The event starts at 4pm at St. Francis Catholic Parish of Portland.
Take Action: Save TPS
The following is a message from Belinda Osorio, a member of UNITE-HERE local 11 in Orlando, Florida:
I came to the United States as a child through a program called Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, after Hurricane Mitch devastated much of my birth home, Honduras.
TPS was designed to help survivors of war and natural disasters rebuild our lives. For TPS residents like me, the United States is home. But now, TPS is under attack. And with no real pathway to citizenship, families like mine are at risk of being torn apart.
I am a proud union member and hotel housekeeper in Orlando, Florida. I pay taxes and contribute to the country where I am raising my two American children. That’s why I will deliver a petition to Congress today, signed by more than 50,000 American workers, urging our leaders to protect TPS.
TPS residents are your co-workers and neighbors. We want to raise our children and continue to work and contribute to our country. When other working people like you speak up, it makes a big impact for families like mine.
GOP Tax Plan Update
Last week, in the early hours of the morning, the Senate passed their version of the GOP tax plan. Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain issued the following statement in response:
“The GOP tax bill which passed the Senate is a direct attack on working people across America. It’s another attempt by the wealthiest in our nation to rig the rules of the economy against the rest of us. Through this tax bill, corporations and billionaires will pay less while the rest of us pay more. This bill gives billions of tax giveaways to big corporations that outsource jobs and profits and leave the rest of us to pick up the tab. The unions of the Oregon AFL-CIO are thankful for Oregon’s Senators Wyden and Merkley who did everything they could to expose this shameful bill for what it is: another version of the same economic policies that benefit the wealthy while leaving working Americans behind.”
The bill passed in the Senate differs from what was approved by the House of Representatives, which means we still have a chance to shut it down. Click here to learn what you can do to help.
The Save Local Business Act
Last month, Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader drew fire from the national AFL-CIO for his support of H.R. 3441, the so-called ‘Save Local Business Act.’ In a letter from AFL-CIO President Trumka, the ramifications of H.R. 3441 are made clear. Trumka writes:
“By voting for H.R. 3441, you not only let down the unions that have supported you, you let down tens of thousands of vulnerable workers in your district who count on you to protect them from wage theft, unsafe conditions and other workplace violations and to protect their right to bargain.”