What's Your Story?

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: What’s Your Story?
March 14, 2018

What’s Your Story?

When we talk about the union difference, we are talking about a wide range of ways that unions create positive changes for working people. From wages and benefits to solidarity and building leaders, the union difference means something different for everyone.  At a gathering of union leaders earlier this month, we asked the question “what difference have unions made in your life?” Here are some of the responses:

So, what’s your story? How has being in a union changed your life?   Click here to tell us your story.

The Path to Power

Congratulations to Rep.-elect Conor Lamb and the 100,000 union members who propelled him to victory with a powerful and united member-to-member campaign led by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Lamb didn’t just ask for the support of the labor movement, which makes up 20% of the electorate in Pennsylvania’s 18th District—he earned it by opposing unnecessary “right to work” laws, backing protections for coal miners’ pensions and supporting commonsense trade enforcement.

The victory in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District proves the path to power runs through the labor movement. Lamb proudly stood with working people, embraced our agenda and spoke out for all of us.

Enough is Enough:
Let’s Hold Burgerville Accountable

As you may have read in the Northwest Labor Press, as many as seven outspoken union supporters at Burgerville have been fired in recent months. While their management made excuses for each firing, this kind of retaliation cannot go unchecked by Oregon’s union movement.  

Please help hold Burgerville accountable by signing and sharing our petition:

The Power of Women: Reactions to West Virginia

The victory in West Virginia is still rippling across the country, and one of the important takeaways is the demonstration of the power of women seen in the historic strike. An article in USA Today puts it into perspective:

More than three-quarters of public school teachers are female, the National Center for Education Statistics reported in 2017. Like so many gendered professions, teachers are notoriously underpaid and undervalued. Salaries for teachers in West Virginia rank 48th in the nation, according to the National Education Association, the country's largest teacher's union. To fight what they viewed as chronic mistreatment, educators went to battle with a male-dominated legislature that ranked 48th in the nation in terms of women's participation. They also faced a Republican governor who days before the strike had implied that they were “dumb bunnies.”

Already, we are seeing inspiration from West Virginia take hold in educators and classified employees across the country: activsim is on the rise in Arizona schools as well as Oklahoma, where wages for educators are so low they are making headlines.

Ratification at Portland State University!

About 800 graduate teaching and research assistants at Portland State University approved their first-ever union contract last week. Congratulations! Click here to read more about the victory at PSU.

Stand Up Against Hate

It's recently come to light that initiative petitions sponsored by prominent Oregon business groups are using the same signature collection firm as an anti-immigrant ballot measure. This is troubling, and in response, unions and our allies across the state are calling on business leaders to demand that their petitions not be co-circulated with Initiative Petition 22.

IP 22 seeks to repeal Oregon's 30-year-old Sanctuary Law, which was critical in dramatically reducing racial profiling of immigrants and communities of color and is led by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, a group with deep ties to the national white supremacist network.

Click here to learn more and take action.