Recognizing International Workers' Day

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: Recognizing International Workers' Day
May 1, 2019

International Workers' Day

May 1 is International Workers' Day and continues to be a rallying cry for workers worldwide to mobilize around pro-labor actions in their cities.  In Salem, advocates of Driver Licences For All took to the Capitol:

New Podcast Episode is Live!

Check out the latest podcast episode of The Voice of Oregon’s Workers. We sit down with Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain to discuss retirement security and our state’s PERS system.

OSEA Officer Gets Freedom Foundation Bulletin Boards Taken Down

“What’s in it for them?” Mary Hofer asks several times in an April guest column published in the Bend Bulletin. She’s referring to the billboards she would see on her way to work and multiple mailers she’d received, paid for by the Freedom Foundation under the Opt Out Today name, urging public employees to drop their union to save money.

Hofer is an OSEA member and elected officer on their Board of Directors. "Give yourself a raise!" it says. "Opt out of your union today!" She had to ask herself: Who is willing to pay close to a thousand dollars a month just to save me $25? What's in it for them? Hofer educates readers about the Freedom Foundation's tactics and why corporations are so invested in destroying our unions

Since the piece ran, the billboards have come down. We don’t know how much of this is due to Hofer’s advocacy, but we know that the Oregon Union Movement will never back down and always fight for a more fair and just economy.

We Must Do More: Oregon Loses Union Ironworker

On Sunday, April 28 we commemorated Workers Memorial Day. The day before, a crane collapsed in Seattle killing four people, one of whom was Oregon ironworker Travis Corbet of Local 29. To assist our Brother's family during this tragedy, donations can be made at Ironworkers USA Credit Union. Call 206-835-0150 or 1-877-769-4766 or make a donation online here. Thank you for your support of these families.

The Labor Movement is committed to redoubling our efforts to end job-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses. The National AFL-CIO just released its annual Death on the Job report, which highlights horrifying numbers about how dangerous work continues to be:

  • On average, 275 workers die each day due to job injuries and illnesses
  • An estimated 7 – 10.5 million workers endure work-related injuries and illnesses a year
  • This costs the economy an estimated $250 - $330 billion per year

The Trump administration continues its assault on workers, not just by rigging the rules of the economy in favor of the major businesses and the 1%, but also by reducing our ability to collectively bargain for better working conditions while also promoting legislation that diminishes worker safety, according to the report.

At the Salem Workers Memorial Day observance on Friday, April 26, 49 names were read of Oregonians who lost their lives on the job. This number is far too high, and we must continue the fight to make all Oregon workplaces safer and ensure that every Oregon worker comes home from each work day in the coming year.

Student Success Act Passes the House

Tonight, the Student Success Act, the bill to bring game changing investments to our schools, cleared a major hurdle when the Oregon House of Representatives voted to send it to the Senate for a vote and after over 6 hours of heated debate.  

This is a major milestone years in the making, and it brings us one step closer to investing $2 billion in Oregon students. By requiring large companies to pay their fair share in taxes, we can make our schools stronger and our tax system fairer. Governors and Legislatures have been trying for decades to fix our broken tax system and fully fund our schools in Oregon, and this bill presents an incredible opportunity to address long overdue funding challenges.  

Portland Pride Parade - June 16. The Oregon AFL-CIO and affiliates will be marching in the parade in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. If you are interested in marching or being involved in planning, please contact