The Shutdown Continues

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: The Shutdown Continues
January 9, 2018

The Shutdown Continues

It’s day 19 of the government shutdown, and the entire labor movement is fighting for our affected brothers and sisters. As AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. declared, “We’re being held hostage for political purposes and that just needs to stop.”

There does not appear to be an end in sight, as President Trump walked out of a meeting with lawmakers today.  

This shutdown is a direct attack on our unions, but that’s why the AFL-CIO was created. When you attack one union, you must deal with all of us. With 12.5 million members, it’s time for us all to step up and speak out about stopping the government shutdown.  The ask is simple: Pass the House bills and open the government.

In Oregon, we’re fortunate to have two Senators who stand with working people, but there are Senators around the country who do not see it that way. Help spread the word, encouraging your friends and family to call Congress especially if they are in a state with Senators who don’t hold the line for workers’ rights like Oregon’s do. Click here to share the National AFL-CIO’s call to action on Facebook.

Click here for graphics and more to use to help spread the word, courtesy of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Support Nurses in Central Oregon on MLK Day

In a near unanimous vote, approximately 900 nurses at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend have elected to take up picket signs in support of a fair union contract.

The nurses, represented by Oregon Nurses Association (ONA), have been engaged in negotiations with the employer for a new contract since June of 2018. Along with a fair cost of living adjustment and maintenance of health insurance benefits, the nurses are fighting for improvements to the safety of staffing in the facility.

Since 2015, Bend nurses have reported more than 600 unsafe or inadequate staffing incidents at St. Charles Bend. In 2017, the Oregon Health Authority conducted an independent investigation of staffing at the facility. During that investigation, the state found hundreds of violations of Oregon’s Hospital Nurse Staffing Law. The employer was ordered to comply with the law, but, a year and a half later, hospital executives still haven’t fixed the problems.

Informational Picket in Support of ONA Nurses at St. Charles Medical Center

  • Monday, January 21st
  • 7:30am - 9:30am and 11:30am - 3:30pm
    (two sessions- come to either or both)
  • Outside of St. Charles Hospital, along Neff Rd. (between NE Williamson Blvd. and Medical Center Drive) (map)

Labor allies and community members in Central Oregon are welcomed and encouraged to join nurses on the picket line. In recognition of Dr. King’s work on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised, Oregon Nurses Association will be collecting food for needy families during the event. If possible, please bring a non-perishable food item with you.

For more information, contact Oregon Nurses Association Labor Relations Representative Lydia Hallay at

If you do not live nearby but would like to support the nurses, please click here to sign a petition in support of nurses at St. Charles.

New Congress Begins with Influx
of Diverse & Worker-Friendly Members

The 116th Congress began last week and it features a diverse group of members who are more friendly to working people than their predecessors in recent Congresses. Not only does the new class of incoming senators and representatives have the largest group of women ever and the first Native American women, the first Muslim American women and the first openly bisexual senator, it features a dozen union members and even more worker-friendly members.

Union members in the 116th Congress include:

  • Sen. Jacky Rosen (UNITE HERE) of Nevada;
  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter (LIUNA) of Colorado;
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CWA) of Connecticut;
  • Rep. Jahana Hayes (AFSA) of Connecticut;
  • Rep. Dave Loebsack (AFT) of Iowa;
  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (Ironworkers) of Massachusetts;
  • Rep. Donald Norcross (IBEW) of New Jersey;
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (NWU) of Washington;
  • Rep. Kim Schrier (Public School Employees) of Washington;
  • Rep. Denny Heck (Public School Employees) of Washington;
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (AFSCME) of Minnesota; and
  • Rep. Colin Allred (NFLPA) of Texas.