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2023 Convention Recap: Organize. Fight. Rise.

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

The 58th Biennial Convention of the Oregon AFL-CIO was held September 20th - 23rd, 2023 at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes in beautiful Bend, Oregon. With over 350 affiliated union delegates, guests and honorary delegates in attendance, our convention serves as the single largest gathering of Oregon Labor in the state and the spirit of solidarity was felt by everyone who joined us.

Together, delegates proposed and approved an array of resolutions to guide the Oregon Labor Movement for the next two years, elected a strong slate of State Federation officers and Executive Board members, and heard from guest speakers, panelists, and workshop presenters. We held the 2023 Oregon Labor Awards Ceremony, where unions and elected officials were recognized for their achievements in building power for working Oregonians since our last convention in 2022. We ended the convention by mobilizing attendees and local community members to rally and march through downtown Bend in support of Central Oregon workers who are currently fighting for fair contracts.

Officer & Executive Board Elections

Delegates unanimously voted to reelect Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor and Oregon AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Sarina Roher, R.N., to serve our State Federation for another four years and lead us through what is becoming a historic moment of power for the Labor Movement. Together, President Trainor and Secretary-Treasurer Roher will continue to lead the Oregon AFL-CIO in our mission to build a fair and just economy for all Oregon workers.

In addition to electing our principal officers, delegates unanimously voted in a slate of Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board members who embody the diversity of Oregon Labor and represent workers from every sector of our state’s workforce.

National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond  swears in the  Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board (some members not present)
National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond swears in the Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board (some members not present)


Resolutions are a key component of each Oregon AFL-CIO Convention. Submitted by affiliated unions and the Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board, resolutions serve as the roadmap we use to take Oregon Labor forward. They are carefully crafted and debated during the convention, playing an instrumental role in shaping the direction of the Oregon AFL-CIO by providing a clear and collective vision for our organization's future endeavors. This year, we are proud to see delegates pass resolutions pertaining to union organizing and supporting striking workers, apprenticeships and standards in the construction industry, protections for healthcare workers, supporting the LGBTQ+ community and engaging in Pride, and building power for immigrant workers among others.


Taking Action

No Oregon AFL-CIO Convention would be complete without attendees getting outside of the convention center and taking action to support local workers. This year, we rallied in Drake Park in Bend to hear from school employees, teachers, healthcare workers, and actors about their current fights at the bargaining table. After the rally, we marched through the streets of Bend and leafleted citizens about how they can support workers in their communities.


2023 Oregon Labor Awards Ceremony

We recognized the unions, unionists, and elected leaders who have gone above and beyond to build power for working people since our last convention at the 2023 Oregon Labor Awards Ceremony, and enjoyed remarks from Oregon State Legislature leadership as well.

The 2023 award winners are:

Legislator of the Year

State Representative Dacia Grayber

Rising Star

State Representative Nathan Sosa

Solidarity Champion

Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber

Leadership in Organizing & Growth

Oregon Nurses Association

For historic campaign wins and membership growth throughout Oregon’s healthcare industry.

Leading the Way in Organizing


For the incredible and continued achievements in building industry-wide power for workers throughout behavioral healthcare in Oregon.

IATSE Local 154

For making history as the first IATSE local in the union’s history to organize maintenance and custodial workers.

Innovations in Organizing

UFCW Local 555

For organizing at Imperfect Foods and building power for delivery drivers who are fighting for safety, fairness, and respect in the gig economy.


For an exciting and innovative organizing campaign at Friends of the Children Portland and giving a voice to non-profit education workers.

Holding the Line

LIUNA Local 737

For standing strong against CertainTeed and striking to win a fair contract.

LIUNA Local 483

For striking to win a fair contract for municipal laborers at the City of Portland.

IAMAW District Lodge W24

For taking on Weyerhaeuser in a historic strike and winning a fair contract for union woodworkers.

Oregon Nurses Association

For standing up to Providence during a five-day unfair labor practice strike to win fair contracts for nurses and clinicians.

SAG-AFTRA Portland

For inspiring workers across the country as part of the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike.

Tom Chamberlain “Working Class Hero”

Russell Lum, Oregon Nurses Association

For consistently mobilizing members, leading by example, and building power for working Oregonians throughout the Labor 2022 political campaign.

Building Local Worker Power

Central Oregon Central Labor Chapter

For running a strategic and engaging field campaign during the Labor 2023 local election season and elevating the voice of working people in Central Oregon.

Aida Aranda “Women Leading in Labor”

In honor of Aida Aranda, the Aranda family, and LiUNA.

For a life and career of leadership and empowerment of women and workers of color in the Oregon Labor Movement.


Guest Speakers

Our convention featured guest speakers who each brought a unique perspective on how we can embody the theme of the 2023 convention: Organize. Fight. Rise. From our United States Senator and members of Congress to national labor leaders to grassroots organizers, our speakers left attendees feeling inspired, educated, and agitated to keep up the fight for worker power.


Panels Discussions & Workshops

One of the central goals of every Oregon AFL-CIO Convention is to leave delegates and guests with new skills and ideas on building power for workers. Our panels and workshops did exactly that, and we are incredibly grateful for everyone who participated in a panel discussion and facilitated a workshop.

2023 Convention Panels

  • Training the Next Generation: Building a Vibrant & Prosperous Workforce through Apprenticeships

  • Film Screening and Panel Discussion: 9 to 5 the Story of a Movement

  • The Future is Now: Powering the Clean Energy Economy through Union Labor

  • Rising Up: Growing Our Unions Through Groundbreaking Organizing Strategies

2023 Convention Workshops

  • Union Power, Political Power: 2024 and Beyond

  • First Contract Campaigns: Strategies for Winning the Critical Next Step after a Successful Organizing Drive

  • Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave: What You Need to Know Now and When you Bargain

  • AFL-CIO Tech Institute: Leveraging the Power of Technology and Innovation for the Labor Movement

  • Up with the Union: Internal Organizing and Power Building Strategies

  • Bargaining for the Common Good: Strengthen Member Engagement Through Campaigns that Invest in Our Communities

  • Total Worker Health® Awareness: Advancing the Well-being of the U.S. Workforce

  • Registered Apprenticeships: Preparing Oregon’s Workforce for the Jobs of Today and Tomorrow


More Photos from Convention

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