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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: February 29, 2024

The Oregon Labor Dispatch is a weekly email and blog series designed to keep Oregon’s workers informed of the latest news about unions, worker power, and much more. Each week, we bring you a curated selection of news stories, graphics, and information about upcoming events and actions. When Oregon’s Labor Movement is connected, updated and informed we are able to be stronger advocates for all working Oregonians.


If you have a news story, event or action you’d like to see featured in the Oregon Labor Dispatch please email us at communications@oraflcio.org.



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📣Take Action Today 

Tell OHSU: Pay Your Fair Share

OHSU benefits from taxpayer dollars, funding innovative cures through biomedical research. The 235 Postdoc researchers, securing $600 million in federal funding, are now negotiating their first contract. They aim to address the global crisis in postdoc recruitment, retention, and support for foreign workers who constitute 52% of their members. Despite these critical issues, OHSU has only offered zero-cost proposals, stating an unwillingness to pay for postdocs. This reflects a prioritization within OHSU's mission, where Research and Innovation are acknowledged, but not equally supported across all missions.  It’s time for OHSU to pay their fair share.  Click here to take action today. 


Oregon Worker Relief

Take action to provide critical support for immigrant Oregonians! Oregon Worker Relief has been a lifeline for immigrant Oregonians through programs including the Climate Change Fund, the Home Fund, and Universal Representation. This community-led approach has helped over 93,000 immigrant Oregonians through emergency relief for farmworkers who face dangerous working conditions from extreme heat and smoke, rent assistance to keep families housed, and no-cost immigration legal services. Take action to  tell legislators to take action this legislative session by investing in our immigrant communities to strengthen our community resilience in emergencies!


🖤Black History Month 

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists: Black History Month Events 

Ongoing throughout February both on Zoom and in person in Portland The Oregon Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) cordially invites you to join us for a month-long recognition of Black excellence in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, Portland Rising, Oregon AFSCME, and AFRAM/SEIU Local 503. The primary focus is health care. 

  • TODAY: February 29, 2024 at 7:00pm: Movie Night (In Person at SEIU Local 503) 


February 2, 2024 | Labor Tribune

From AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: “This (month) marks… Black History Month. It can never be overstated the critical role Black unionists played and continue to play in building our modern Labor Movement, securing the hard-fought workplace protections that we all enjoy today, and advancing civil rights across the country. Black workers have been on the front lines of so many of the most pressing Labor rights issues of the times and have powerfully organized to fight systemic racism and exploitation. We still have so much to learn from the history of our country’s earliest Black trade unions; inspiring figures like A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, Hattie Canty, Clara Holder, Arlene Holt Baker and so many others; pivotal moments like the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike; and the ongoing efforts of Black workers across our country who are walking picket lines, leading our unions and driving change as we speak.”


Must Read

February 27, 2024 | The New York Times 

“Starbucks and the union that represents employees in roughly 400 of its U.S. stores announced Tuesday that they were beginning discussions on a “foundational framework” that would help the company reach labor agreements with unionized workers and resolve litigation between the two sides. The union greeted the development as a major shift in strategy for Starbucks, which has taken steps to resist union organizing at the company since the campaign began in 2021, moves that federal labor regulators have said violated labor law hundreds of times.”


Oregon Labor 

February 28, 2024 | OPB 

“The deal impacts more than 4,500 employees. It gives several raises over two years, starting with a 6.5% pay increase in April. They will also receive a one-time $1,500 payment and get Veteran’s Day off.”


February 24, 2024 | OPB 

“After 10 months of bargaining and an impasse declaration last week, Salem-Keizer Public Schools and the Salem Keizer Education Association have each submitted their best and final offers as the latest step in an attempt to resolve ongoing labor contract negotiations.”


Organizing 

February 28, 2024 | The Badger Herald

“Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Workers voted to unionize on Feb. 8, according to the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals website. The ballot count revealed that 81% of workers voted to be represented by the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.”


February 28, 2024 | The Hill

“Corporate giants are taking aim at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and attempting to hobble the agency in charge of protecting unions and their members. Amazon, Starbucks, SpaceX and Trader Joe’s are all facing complaints from the NLRB over their alleged harassment, intimidation and illegal firings of unionizing employees. The companies have responded by challenging the constitutionality of the NLRB in federal court, which could upend the structure of the New Deal-era agency.”


February 27, 2024 | The Hollywood Reporter 

“The latest coming attraction for Universal Cinema AMC at CityWalk Hollywood? A union election at the National Labor Relations Board. On Feb. 20, the crew union IATSE petitioned the NLRB for an election to determine if 44 staffers at the Universal City location will decide to join their ranks. The union is attempting to represent a broad swath of roles — including ushers, cooks, bartenders, janitors and others — at the sprawling, 19-theater location, situated on the same campus as the Universal Studios theme park.”


February 27, 2024 | The Harvard Crimson 

“Some Harvard residential tutors, proctors, and house aides are planning to publicly launch a campaign for unionization, an effort they have been quietly working towards since last spring. The group, called Harvard Union of Residential Advisors, has been organizing privately since May and plans to file a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board.”


National Politics 

February 29, 2024 | AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO Legislative Scorecard calculates how our elected officials vote on legislation that impacts working families. In 2023, we saw bills on issues ranging from pro-worker Department of Labor appointments to unemployment insurance. 


Oregon’s Senators & Representatives scored as follows: 


Senator Jeff Merkley: 100% score, 99% lifetime score 

Senator Ron Wyden: 100% score, 93% lifetime score 

Rep. Cliff Bentz (CD-2), 10% score, 7% lifetime score

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (CD-3), 100% score, 95% lifetime score 

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (CD-1) , 100% score, 96% lifetime score

Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (CD-5) 10% score, 10% lifetime score 

Rep. Val Hoyle (CD-4), 100% score, 100% lifetime score 

Rep. Andrea Salinas (CD-6) 100% score, 100% lifetime score  


The Labor Movement 

February 25, 2024 | CBS News 

“Earlier this month, President Joe Biden paid a visit to the critical battleground state of Michigan. He came to Detroit – Motor City – to court union voters. Mr. Biden had just won the United Auto Workers' endorsement, and he was eager to share the spotlight with UAW president Shawn Fain. Fain told the crowd, "You know what the hell's going to happen if this man's not president, because we've seen what happens. Labor went backwards." "You all are the ones that brung me to the dance," Mr. Biden told union workers. "And I never left it."”



Workforce 

February 26, 2024 | Vox 

“To grossly paraphrase Kim Kardashian, nobody stops working anymore. Just look at who’s in the running for the top job in the nation: a 77-year-old against an 81-year-old, both vying to keep working for another four years. Yet they’re in lockstep with a national trend — older Americans are working longer, into their 60s and even their 70s and beyond. Among Americans 65 and older, 19 percent were still working last year, which is almost a twofold increase from the late 1980s.”


Exposing “Right to Work” 

February 26, 2024 | The Grio

“As of Feb. 13, Michigan’s deceptively named “right-to-work” laws officially became a thing of the past, marking the first time in nearly 60 years a state has repealed one of these laws. This is a victory for workers, especially workers of color. We already know that “right-to-work” is a misnomer; rather than creating opportunities for workers, as the name falsely implies, these laws stifle workers by making it harder to collectively bargain for their wages, benefits and working conditions. In fact, workers in states without right-to-work or similar anti-worker laws face 37% less risk of dying on the job and make $8,989 (15.2%) more annually. What’s worse, these laws were really created in the Jim Crow South with the purpose of perpetuating the oppression of workers of color.”


Labor & Technology

February 25, 2024 | The New York Times

“Liz Shuler, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president, said Microsoft had gone further in collaborating with organized labor than almost any other major company. She said she first met Mr. Smith to discuss labor issues almost two years ago, at which point he told her, “If workers want a union, why shouldn’t they be able to form one?” Then he added: “This is the prevailing winds of change in the country. I think Microsoft should be adapting to it instead of resisting it.”


Strikes & Collective Bargaining 

February 27, 2024 | Talking Biz News 

“Unionized editorial workers at LexisNexis-owned Law360 voted to authorize a strike Monday. The union says the strike is due to lack of progress at the bargaining table, unlawful tactics that violate union members’ rights and planned layoffs following record profits in 2023. Law360 Union is part of the NewsGuild of New York, which represents nearly 7,000 media workers.”


February 23, 2024 | HuffPost

“Many workers who go on strike could soon gain a new bit of leverage against their employers: unemployment benefits. Lawmakers in several states are considering the novel approach of extending unemployment insurance to workers who hit the picket lines, saying it would help level the playing field with deep-pocketed companies that can starve their workforces in contract fights. Strikers do not qualify for such benefits in the vast majority of states.”


February 23, 2024 | Variety 

“The American Federation of Musicians has struck a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion 

Picture and Television Producers, reaching a deal that union leaders hailed as “a watershed moment for artists” that includes residuals for made-for-streaming content and protections against the use of AI. The AFM announced the tentative agreement one day after the sides resumed contract negotiations that began in January.”


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