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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: May 9, 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

Portland City Council is considering proposals in late May that will determine the future of Portland’s beloved and iconic performing arts venue, the Keller Auditorium.These proposals have the potential to shutter this landmark entirely or for a prolonged period of time, which would deal an enormous blow to workers and the economy. During the pandemic the entertainment industry was hit especially hard with workers, performers, and businesses who rely on live entertainment all suffering disproportionately. We cannot afford to shut down the Keller again, decimate workers’ livelihoods, and strike another blow to Portland’s revitalization. 


Community Alliance of Tenants wants to hear from you about the issues you care about right now. As we continue to combat predatory rent hikes, mass evictions, and bad-faith corporate landlords, it’s critical that we hear tenants across the state to inform the future of advocacy. We take your feedback seriously. Past feedback from Oregon tenants has helped us secure major victories like the Right to Cooling law, extend pandemic-era protections, and led to historic levels of investment into rent assistance while we continue to fight to make housing safe and affordable for all.


Upcoming Events

Blues Carnaval: Rhythm and Rio Benefit for Health Care for All Oregon

Friday May 10 at 8:00PM to 11:00PM | Aladdin Theater in Portland

Health Care for All Oregon (HCAO) is pleased to announce their annual fundraising Blues event where Rhythm and Blues meet the Brazilian beat! Award Winning Blues icon, Norman “Boogie Cat” Sylvester brings his Louisiana influenced showcase, featuring; Tevis Hodge Jr., Lenanne Miller, Chuk Barber, Ms. Vee, Renato Caranto and Peter Moss then the high energy troupe of Bloco Alegria take over the theater with a full energy Music & Dance Carnaval party! General Admission $30.00


NALC Branch 82 32nd Annual MDA Labor Bowl

Sunday May 19, 2024 at 9:30AM to 12:30PM | Kingpins, 3550 SE 92nd  in Portland

Theme: Superheroes! There will be prizes for top fundraiser, top men's and women's total score, lowest total score and best superhero costume. Food: Pizza and sodas. All are welcome. Contact Branch 82 to join a team or submit your team of five. Call Branch 82 to pre-register (503)493-5903 or pay at the door. Bring donations for a silent auction from 10AM to 12PM. Cost: $60.00 minimum per bowler (with a goal of each bowler raising $100.00)


Labor 2024 Events

Canvass for Lisa Fragala for HD 8 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General

Saturday May 11, 2024 at 10:00AM to 1:00PM | Meet at Oregon AFSCME Council 75 in Eugene

Join Oregon Labor at a canvass for Lisa Fragala for State Representative in HD 8 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General. Coffee, lunch and training provided. Sign up to volunteer.


Phonebank for Willy Chotzen for HD 46 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General

Monday May 13, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Join Oregon Labor at a phonebank for Willy Chotzen for State Representative in HD 46 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General. Sign up to volunteer.


Phonebank for Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner and Anthony Broadman for State Senate

Wednesday May 15, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Join Oregon Labor at a phonebank for Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner and Anthony Broadman for State Senate. Sign up to volunteer.


Canvass for Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner and Anthony Broadman for State Senate

Saturday May 18, 2024 at 10:00AM to 1:00PM | Meet at SEIU 503 Bend Office in Bend.

Join Oregon Labor at a canvass for Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner and Anthony Broadman for State Senate. Coffee, lunch and training provided. Sign up to volunteer.


Get Out the Vote Canvass with Willy Chotzen for HD 46 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General

Saturday May 19, 2024 at 10:00AM to 1:00PM | Meet at the Oregon Labor Center in Portland

Join Oregon Labor at a canvass for Willy Chotzen for State Representative in HD 46 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General. Coffee, lunch and training provided. Willy Chotzen and Dan Rayfield will be there to kick off the event!


Phonebank to Get Out the Vote!

Monday May 19, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Monday May 20, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Join Oregon Labor at our last phonebanks to Get Out the Vote before the May 21st primary deadline!  Sign up to volunteer.


 

Must Read 

May 4, 2024 | OFNHP AFT Local 5017

“With an overwhelming 86% majority, the lab professionals employed by the medical lab services company, LabCorp of America, won 7 union elections conducted from May 1st to 3rd. These healthcare professionals chose to join the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP), a local affiliate of the 1.7 million member AFT. They work at labs within seven Legacy Health facilities in Oregon and Washington, including Emanuel, Salmon Creek, and Good Samaritan."


May 7, 2024 | Oregon Capital Chronicle

“Every year about this time, Oregon labor unions honor colleagues who have lost their lives on the job. This year is especially poignant for members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or Oregon AFSCME, with the death late last year of Haley Rogers, a 26-year-old mental health worker. She was stabbed to death on the job by a resident while working an overnight shift alone at a 10-bed behavioral health treatment facility in Gresham. Her death was preventable, and we must ensure that nothing like it happens again."


Pacific Northwest Labor

May 9, 2024 | Oregon Center for Public Policy

“In that spirit, this episode of Policy for the People focuses on both the labor movement and immigrants. Anthony Capote of the Immigration Research Initiative discusses the findings of a report he co-wrote titled Immigrants in the Oregon Economy: Overcoming Hurdles, Yet Still Facing Barriers. Also, Kathy Lara of the Oregon Center for Public Policy talks about the latest figures on labor activity in Oregon, as well as the challenges that workers seeking to form a union continue to encounter.”


May 7, 2024 | Supermarket News

“Grocery workers in Eastern Washington state have ratified a new, three-year contract that includes wage increases and other benefit improvements, and no increases to health care premiums or deductibles. The contract, which covers workers at Kroger- and Albertsons-owned stores in the Spokane area, was the first to be negotiated by United Food and Commercial Workers 3000, which was formed in 2022 by the merger of UFCW Local 1439 and UFCW Local 21. UFCW Local 3000 now represents 50,000 workers across much of Washington, northeast Oregon, and northern Idaho.”


May 4, 2024 | The Seattle Times

“Boeing locked out its on-site firefighters at its Washington facilities early Saturday morning after contract negotiations with their union reached a standstill. The lockout came after members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local I-66 twice rejected Boeing contract offers in recent months and talks toward another offer broke down almost immediately Monday, the union said.”


May 2, 2024 | Northwest Labor Press

“The Port of Portland is planning to shut down Oregon’s only international shipping container service in October, a decision that could affect nearly 1,500 jobs across the state. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 8 and state lawmakers have asked the port to reverse course.”


May 2, 2024 | Northwest Labor Press

“NW Natural seems to be pressuring its union to settle a new contract before the existing agreement expires on May 31. Last month, the utility company informed union workers that it plans to train non-union staff to do their jobs in case there is a strike — even though Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 11 has not called for a walkout or taken a strike vote.”


May 2, 2024 | Northwest Labor Press

“This union-focused ballot guide tries to keep it simple: It lists only candidates who have at least one union endorsing them — AND who have opponents on the primary ballot.”


Policy and Legislation

May 8, 2024 |Franklin County Free Press

“Senators Bob Casey, Sherrod Brown, and Catherine Cortez Masto have introduced the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act aimed at preventing the outsourcing of American call center jobs overseas. The bill seeks to protect American workers and consumer data by imposing restrictions and penalties on businesses that relocate call center operations abroad.”


May 7, 2024 |People’s World

“Slowing down the U.S. mail, especially first-class letters, Social Security checks, holiday and birthday cards, pension payments—and probably mail-in ballots this fall—is one offense laid at the feet of Trumpite Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, because it’s actually occurred. But pulling U.S. Postal Service police away from pursuing thieves and protecting Letter Carriers from theft, injury and even murder, and sending the cops to protect buildings instead, is quite another. And that action’s compounded because U.S. attorneys don’t treat thefts and injuries as a top priority. The Letter Carriers (NALC) want to change that scenario. So they’ve put the bipartisan Protect Our Letter Carriers Act, HR7629, atop their legislative priority list for the rest of this Congress.”


May 3, 2024 | Restaurant Dive

“President Joe Biden vetoed a Congressional Review Act measure to overturn the National Labor Relations Board rule broadening joint employer liability, fulfilling a promise made in January, the White House announced Friday. The CRA measure passed the Senate in a nearly party-line vote in April, and passed the House of Representatives in a largely, but somewhat less, polarized vote in January. The veto saves the NLRB’s rule legislatively, but the regulation was vacated by a federal judge in Texas in March, though it may yet be appealed. The NLRB’s rule expands the bargaining obligations and liabilities of employers that reserve control of essential conditions of employment or exercises such control indirectly."


May 5, 2024 | My Journal Courier

“For millions of American workers, the federal government has taken two actions that could bestow potentially far-reaching benefits. In one move, the Federal Trade Commission voted to ban non-compete agreements, which bar millions of workers from leaving their employers to join a competitor or start a rival business for a specific period of time. The FTC's move, which is already being challenged in court, would mean that such employees could apply for jobs they weren't previously eligible to seek. In a second move, the Biden administration finalized a rule that will make millions more salaried workers eligible for overtime pay. The rule significantly raises the salary level that workers could earn and still qualify for overtime. On the social media site X, the AFL-CIO labor organization said the rules will "restore and extend overtime protections for hard-working Americans.”


May 2, 2024 | Everett Post

“The bipartisan agreement reached to reauthorize the FAA is a victory for workers across the aviation industry, and the AFL-CIO urges its prompt passage. From production to operation and maintenance, our aviation affiliates, owning their power as essential contributors to the American economy and way of life, made their voices heard. This agreement shows that lawmakers listened. The agreement’s array of provisions advances the rights of workers, from growing the workforce to improving safety and health on the job. And, to boot, these improvements will help keep the flying public safe. On behalf of our 12.5 million members, we are grateful to our allies in Congress who pushed for the reauthorization of this critical agency, and we look forward to Congress sending it to President Biden’s desk,” said Liz Schuler, President, AFL-CIO.”


May 2, 2024 |NextTV

“The internet is one of America’s greatest success stories and is now an essential part of daily life for millions of people around the world. Through significant investment, innovation and the hard work of thousands of people building modern and innovative broadband networks, we’re close to making the internet accessible to all Americans — regardless of where they live. The digital divide is a persistent challenge, but it’s one Verizon Communications and the Communications Workers of America are committed to solving”


Union Busting

May 6, 2024 |  Bloomberg

“The US government raised concerns with Germany about alleged union-busting in Alabama by Mercedes-Benz Group AG, an unusual move that escalates scrutiny on the automaker’s handling of a high-stakes unionization campaign that heads to a vote next week. Officials recently spoke about allegations by the United Auto Workers against Mercedes that include firing union activists and holding a mandatory meeting at which an executive discouraged unionization, according to a US government official familiar with the discussion. The conversation included commitments that the governments will work together to promote unions and employee rights, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive communications.”


May 6, 2024 |  Bloomberg

“Apple Inc. illegally interrogated staff at its World Trade Center store in New York City, the US labor board ruled Monday, marking the latest rebuke of the iPhone maker’s labor practices. A trio of Democratic-appointed labor board members ruled against the company, affirming the findings last year of an administrative law judge. In that decision, the judge concluded that the company violated federal law in 2022 by confiscating union flyers, prohibiting workers from placing them on a table in the break room and “coercively interrogating” employees.”


Collective Bargaining

MAy 6, 2024 | Detroit Free Press

UAW members at Daimler Truck have OK'd a new four-year contract with the company. The union said in a news release Saturday that the vote in favor was 94.5% and will cover more than 7,000 workers who build Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built Buses in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. The union did not provide a breakdown of the total yes and no votes. The agreement, reached late on April 26, averted a strike. The union said the agreement includes raises of more than 25% and the introduction of profit-sharing and cost-of-living adjustments as it ends a tiered wage system at the truck maker.”


May 1, 2024 | Fortune

“The stewards of the skies have long petitioned for a bit of cushioning under their wings. And that’s what Southwest Airlines flight attendants just received, thanks to their efforts with the Transport Workers Union (TWU). Last week, Southwest flight attendants ratified a new four-year contract that stipulated a greater than 33% pay raise—and starting Wednesday, Southwest flight attendants will get a 22.3% raise, followed by 3% raises in the next three years.”


Organizing

May 8, 2024 | WHYY

“Thousands of graduate student workers at the University of Pennsylvania — about 97% — voted to unionize in early May. The Graduate Employees Together University of Pennsylvania, or GET-UP, is behind the drive to affiliate with the United Auto Workers, which often represents student  worker unions. The union election was scheduled for mid-April but was delayed after the University of Pennsylvania tried to exclude several hundred student workers through the National Labor Relations Board appeal process, but the university failed.”


May 6, 2024 | Orlando Weekly

“Retail workers at an H&M clothing store in Melbourne overwhelmingly voted to unionize Friday, forming a historic first H&M union in the state of Florida. According to Will Cox, an organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers, the election was secured by a supermajority of workers at the Melbourne Square Mall store, who voted in favor of unionization on Friday.”


May 2, 2024 | NPR

“If you measure success in headlines, the last 12 months have been a major win for organized labor. There were strikes by Hollywood writers and actors where they wrested concessions from major studios. There was a deal for UPS workers that Teamsters general president Sean O'Brien called their most lucrative ever negotiated. And last fall, the United Auto Workers waged a strike against the Big 3 automakers and won big.”


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