Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: Don't Roll Back Our Rights
October 9, 2019
Don’t Roll Back Our Rights
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering three cases that will decide if LGBTQ working people are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on sex discrimination in the workplace. For many LGBTQ Americans, a union card is their only form of employment protection. The Court appears to be divided on these critically important cases.
In Oregon, we are proud to have led a diverse coalition of allies to pass the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act, which gives workers better tools to fight workplace sexual harassment and discrimination, including protections for LGBTQ workers.
Hundreds of activists rallied outside the Supreme Court as arguments began yesterday, so that every working person can have equal protection under the law. You can make your voice heard by calling your members of Congress and telling them to support the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing and other areas. Click here to find contact information for your member of Congress.
Stand with Classified Workers at Tigard-Tualatin School District
The Tigard-Tualatin School District is offering classified employees a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that is significantly lower than the COLA given to every other work group in the district. They are already the lowest paid employees in the district and face the same increased costs for rent, gas, groceries and other essentials as everyone else.
The Freedom Foundation Sinks to a New Low
Only weeks after hosting white supremacist Laura Ingraham of Fox News, the Freedom Foundation has sunk to a new low and invited yet another Fox News bigot to their upcoming Oregon banquet at the Salem Convention Center: homophobe Mike Huckabee. Huckabee’s anti-LGBTQ record is appalling: he’s called for legislation to allow for discrimination against LGBTQ people, signed a pledge that described same-sex parents as “unconscionable and destructive,” likened the legalization of same-sex marriage to the legalization of drugs, incest, and polygamy, and recently described LGBTQ equality as “the biggest threat” to America’s “moral fiber.”
With his long history of climate change denial, sexist and racist comments, and ties to a prominent white supremacist group, we understand why the Freedom Foundation and their donors heart Huckabee, but that doesn’t mean our community businesses should give him a platform. Email the Salem Convention Center’s General Manager Chrissie Bertsch and tell them to cancel Huckabee’s appearance today.
Bring Baseball to Portland (in a union stadium!)
Portland Diamond Project, the organization working to bring baseball to Portland, signed a labor harmony agreement with the Oregon AFL-CIO and our affiliate unions, committing to allowing employees working at Portland’s future ballpark to organize and join a union. The agreement represents a first of its kind for sports arenas in Oregon.
Wrapping Up Our 2019 Convention
The Northwest Labor Press has published a comprehensive overview of the 56th convention of the Oregon AFL-CIO, including the transition of officers:
For nearly half the delegates, it was their first convention. Delegates learned new words, like “cisgender,” charted a new political course, and passed the torch of leadership to a new generation: President Tom Chamberlain, 65, and Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Byrd, 70, retired and were succeeded by Graham Trainor, 38, and Christy O’Neill, 32. [More about Graham and Christy here.]