An Economy Where Everyone Can Prosper

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: An Economy Where Everyone Can Prosper
January 3, 2018

An Economy Where Everyone Can Prosper

When working people stand together, we know that great things happen. From the freedom to collectively negotiate for better working conditions to local and statewide policy wins, we can work toward an economy where everyone can prosper. On New Year’s Day, we saw the results of such efforts across the country. Here is a roundup of the types of victories that are possible when we stand united for our future:

Minimum Wage Increases

“As of New Year's Day, workers in the following states can expect a round of raises: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. Those states already meet or exceed the federal minimum wage, so these new raises will push up the bottom even higher. For example, in Ohio, the state minimum wage is $8.15 an hour. After Jan. 1, it will be $8.30.” Click here to learn more.

Paid Family Leave

“On Jan. 1, New York will join California, New Jersey and Rhode Island in requiring employers to give workers paid leave to bond with a baby, care for a close relative with a serious illness or help loved ones during a family member’s military deployment.” Click here to learn more.

Time's Up

In November, 700,000 female farmworkers spoke through a letter in solidarity with Hollywood actors against sexual assault.

On Monday, Hollywood returned the favor when 300 prominent female actors, agents, writers, directors and more announced the launch of Time’s Up. Time’s Up is an initiative to fight systematic sexual harassment not just in Hollywood, but in all workplaces nationwide and includes:

  • A legal defense fund, backed by $13 million in donations, to help less privileged women — like janitors, nurses and workers at farms, factories, restaurants and hotels —  protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it.
  • Legislation to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims.
  • A drive to reach gender parity at studios and talent agencies that has already begun making headway.
  • And a request that women walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes speak out and raise awareness by wearing black.

Learn more at  

Measure 101: Ballots Arrive Soon!

The election is just 21 days away and your ballot will arrive in your mailbox very soon! That means we only have 21 days to talk to voters and make sure they know that healthcare is on the line.  The support for Measure 101 continues to grow, with the Portland Tribune endorsing a YES vote this week because it's the only plan that "ensures that our state's most vulnerable residents get quality health care.”

Here are 3 New Year’s resolutions that are easy to keep and will help us save healthcare for our friends and neighbors:

1.     Sign up to help us talk to voters:
2.     Forward this email to 10 friends
3.     Mark your calendar to vote YES by January 23

New Union Catering Option in Portland

Are you looking for a union-made catering option for your union’s next event? If you’re in the Portland area, Spin Events and Catering workers are now represented by Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 114!

Photography courtesy of Northwest Labor Press

In the Northwest Labor Press, Local 114 Secretary Treasurer Terry Lansing explained the importance of Spin signing a union contract:

“It’s good for the employees to be union. It’s good for business to be union. We want to build a long-term relationship and help Spin Catering grow. That’s why we ask other unions, union-friendly politicians, and union companies to look to Spin Catering first.”

Learn more at

Standing with Workers at the LA Times

A democratic workplace is on the line tomorrow as workers at the Los Angeles Times will vote on whether to organize a union with The NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA). America’s entire labor movement stands in support of the courageous working people at @latguild, because a union newspaper is fair, just and professional.  It is part of a growing trend of unionization within media companies.

Working people at the Los Angeles Times, one of America’s largest newspapers, are standing up for media professionalism and independence with a campaign to form a union, and America’s union movement stands in solidarity.  One key feature of a union workplace is “just cause,” which allows media workers to take ethical stands without fear of reprisal.

For decades, pundits have predicted the death of journalism, but this vote says that media workers are ready to take on the future themselves with a democratic voice. In today’s political climate, America needs strong, independent media workers like never before, which is another reason why America’s union movement supports the @latguild.