Congressman Kurt Schrader released a statement over the weekend in which he stated his qualified intent to vote yes as a courtesy on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act this week. Oregon’s unions will continue with accountability actions at Congressman Schrader’s offices today at 12:15 pm.
Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor responded to Congressman Schrader’s statement:
“While we appreciate the Congressman’s commitment to vote yes on the PRO Act when it comes up for a vote this week, we haven’t forgotten a host of previous votes that have shown that he is out of step with working Oregonians in his district. Working Oregonians need more than a “courtesy vote” from their leaders on legislation aimed at making our economy work for us and not just the wealthy and well-connected. These actions and this frustration from working people has always been about so much more than just one vote. It’s been about a pattern of siding with Corporate America and wealthy special interests over the needs of everyday Oregonians. We have not forgotten his votes against the American Rescue Plan last week, the vitally important COVID-19 relief and recovery package. We have not forgotten about his votes against raising the $7.25 federal minimum wage that disproportionately holds back women and workers of color, or his vote against this same bill, the PRO Act, just last year. Since the start of the pandemic, women have lost 1.4 million more jobs than men with job loss rates are even higher for women of color. Women need leaders who will stand up against Corporate America and who will boldly fight for policies that level the playing field. Accountability for our leaders is a year-round effort, and that is why we will proceed with actions at his offices today, International Women's Day, and continue to mobilize working people to ensure the needs of his constituents are prioritized.”
The events are being organized by the Oregon AFL-CIO, the statewide federation of labor unions in Oregon as part of a national effort to pass the PRO Act. In Oregon City, the Oregon Womxn Labor Leaders (OWLL) are mobilizing a network of activists similar to OWLL actions held at Fred Meyer stores in 2019 in Portland and Warrenton as a protest of gender-based pay disparities by the employer. In Salem, the event is co-hosted by the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Chapter and will feature remarks by local union members and community leaders asking Congressman Schrader to support the PRO Act.