The Wrong Side of History

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: The Wrong Side of History
July 4, 2018

The Wrong Side of History

The Supreme Court is on the wrong side of history. What the majority of justices did last week flies in the face of where workers want and need to go. And it shows just how out of touch they are with our country. Despite the egregious action taken by the Court last week, working people are determined, united and ready to continue the hard of organizing.

A wave of collective action is sweeping the country on a scale we haven’t seen in years. Workers, especially young people, are signing union cards by the tens of thousands. Meanwhile, our movement’s approval rating has surged to a nearly two-decade high.

Our elected leaders have taken notice. House and Senate Democrats have put forward a proposal to strengthen working people’s freedom to negotiate for better wages and benefits.  

Something is happening in America. And it can’t be contained by the Supreme Court or the billionaires who have rigged the rules of our economy.

New Podcast Episode Available

This month, on the heels of the Janus decision, we go to the frontlines of union organizing with Oregon AFSCME and the Solidarity Alliance of Social Services.

Click here to stream the episode on our website or search for The Voice of Oregon’s Workers on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play.

A Strong Step Forward:
Oregon’s Minimum Wage Increases

On July 1, 270,000 working Oregonians earning minimum wage received a raise. The Oregon AFL-CIO, the statewide federation of unions, applauds this increase and remains committed to ensuring all workers have a pathway to prosperity.

“We are thankful and appreciative of the vision and leadership shown by Governor Kate Brown and by the Oregon legislature in passing this groundbreaking minimum wage increase two years ago,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. “At the same time, it is not getting any easier for working people to make ends meet in Oregon. Rent is on the rise. Housing is not keeping up with demand. We have to keep pushing forward to make things better for everyone.”

According to a recent report, there is not a single U.S. state where a worker earning minimum wage can afford a two bedroom apartment. In Oregon, the average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment is now too expensive for an average full-time worker, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

“Raising the minimum wage is a strong step forward, and each year’s increase is a reminder of that, but we have to do more,” remarked President Chamberlain. “The Oregon AFL-CIO is committed to fighting for a fair economy in Oregon where workers can afford a place to live, food on the table and the basics like transportation, medical care and childcare. At the same time, working people across the country and in Oregon are organizing unions in their workplaces in growing numbers because the most effective way for workers to be paid a fair wage is by standing together in a union. Oregon has made great strides, including fair scheduling laws and paid sick days in addition to the increase in the minimum wage, but we have a long way to go. We must do more to ensure families can support themselves. Oregon must act to enable access to paid family and medical leave and work to ensure that as new protections are put into place, workers have the ability to enforce them if their employers aren’t following the rules.”

The minimum wage increase is split into three regions and rates:

  • Region 1, Rural Counties: from $10 per hour to $10.50
  • Region 2, Statewide: from $10.25 per hour to $10.75
  • Region 3, Portland Urban Growth Boundary: from $11.25 per hour to $12.00

Workers earning the minimum wage should check their paystubs following the July 1st increase and contact Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries Wage and Hour Division if they have any questions about the increase or to report an employer who is not increasing wages in accordance with the law.

Support Precision Castparts Workers
on July 11 in Portland

Join the International Association of Machinists and the workers from Precision Castparts for a display of unity and solidarity!  Let’s send a strong message that labor and the communities behind them will never quit in our resolve for justice and equality.

Wednesday, July 11
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (come anytime, featured guest speakers at noon)
Precision Castparts (5001 SE Johnson Creek Blvd in Portland)
Click here to learn more.