Weekly Update: Charlottesville


The domestic terrorism in Charlottesville was an example to the nation and the world of the hateful and violent actions of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. The labor movement has long been a strong ally in the fight to end racism and bigotry. Simply put, it's not acceptable to even tolerate racism and bigotry, let alone defend it, encourage it and aid and abet it.

The labor movement has responded to the tragic events in Charlottesville in many ways, from providing resources to help teach our children about what happened, to President Trumka stepping down from President Trump’s manufacturing council in protest over the White House’s controversial response to the violence in Charlottesville.   The National AFL-CIO could not sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism and President Trumka made the decision to resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups.

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain also released a statement earlier this week in response to Charlottesville:

“Saturday in Charlottesville, VA the nation and the world witnessed the hateful views and violent actions of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. This racism and bigotry is the worst kind of evil in our world and does not represent the true values of America. The true values of our country, values like equality and solidarity, are what have always overcome the most abominable prejudices.

“Any response must begin with our leaders, starting with President Trump, acknowledging this for what it is: domestic terrorism rooted in bigotry. My heart goes out to the victims especially the family of those who lost their lives including a young woman named Heather Heyer and state Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. I pray for everyone’s safety. Oregon’s labor movement condemns this domestic terrorism and remains committed to eradicating the despicable causes of hatred and intolerance.”

Making NAFTA Work for Working People

The United States, Mexico and Canada are embarking on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. It needs a lot of work, as United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard told National Public Radio this morning. President Gerard called out the free trade agreement for causing an “almost $50 billion annual trade deficit.” Simply put, that means working people are losing work and there has been a $3,300 net annual loss in the median income because of NAFTA.


Trade must benefit all working people, not only the rich and powerful, no matter where we live or what our background as Americans is. As working people step forward to be part of the renegotiation of NAFTA, we are united by our demands for a transparent process and a seat at the table. A fair deal will raise pay, stop outsourcing and provide a path to the middle class for everybody who works hard and plays by the rules. We will accept nothing less.

Click here to take action and call for a new NAFTA which prioritizes working people.

White Nationalists Dump Money into Oregon Politics

We’ve written in the past about IP 22 – a dangerous initiative seeking to repeal Oregon’s 30-year-old sanctuary law through a ballot measure. This proposal is an all-out attack on our long-held Oregon values and will divide our state, giving harmful and hateful policies a foothold in Oregon.  According to a recent article in The Oregonian, white nationalist groups from out of state are shipping money into Oregon to fund this effort.

These policies, and the racists funding them, are unwelcome in Oregon. It's time to stand up against hate, and take action against IP 22. Click here to sign the petition.

350,000 Oregonians Need Your Help

This year, Oregon lawmakers passed a bill that protects healthcare for 350,000 Oregonians and lowers premiums for another 220,000. Around the state, family advocates and health experts have cheered the lifesaving Oregon Healthcare Protections Bill.

As threats to healthcare loom at the national level, Oregon leaders need to do everything they can to protect coverage, reduce premiums, and provide certainty for working Oregonians. The Oregon Healthcare Protections Bill does just that, ensuring more working people have healthcare than ever before.

But a small collection of extremist groups, like the anti-LGBTQ Oregon Family Council, and a handful of legislators are trying to do undo all that progress. They’ve written a referendum that would rollback key pieces of the Healthcare Protections Bill — taking away healthcare and raising premiums for more than half a million Oregonians.

The stakes couldn’t be higher, and this attack on our healthcare is already underway.  Signature gatherers are hitting the streets now to qualify Referendum 301 for the ballot, so we must act fast to protect Oregon’s working people.

Here’s how you can help: Contact your legislator today and urge them to stand up and speak out against this dangerous referendum. Then, talk to your friends, your family, and your social network about declining to sign Referendum 301. Every signature this extremist coalition gathers puts Oregonians’ healthcare more at risk, so we have to get the word out now. If we stand together, speak out, and fight back against these attacks, we can protect working people across our state of Oregon.