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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
🏫 RALLY FOR SAFE SCHOOLS & GOOD CONTRACTS Tuesday, August 8 at 5:15pm at Portland Public Schools, 501 N. Dixon in Portland
Show your support for living wages and safe schools for all Portland Public Schools workers! Working conditions are learning conditions! Hosted by SEIU 503, Local 140. All Portland Public Schools workers, union allies, and community members are invited. Food will be provided!
🎵 AUGUST FAIR TRADE MUSIC MEETING
Tuesday, August 29, 7:00 - 8:00pm, Workers Tap (basement) 101 SE 12th Ave in Portland
Musicians Union (AFM) Local 99 is building solidarity between freelance musicians, clubs, and concert-goers to raise standards in the sector. Share your experience as a freelance musician at the monthly fair trade music meeting 5:30-7 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month. Contact email@example.com to sign up or for more information!
✏️ CENTRAL OREGON LABOR CHAPTER’S SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
Now through August 23, bring donations to Bend Senior High School between 8:00am and 3:00pm
Donated items will be distributed to the Family Access Network. Supplies needed are refillable water bottles, college ruled spiral notebooks, mechanical pencils and lead, backpacks of all sizes, pencil sharpeners, colored pencils, highlighters, and 3” binders.
⚕️ BETTER CARE NOW
Just about everyone in America has a loved one in a nursing home, knows someone who works in a nursing home, or recognizes that they may need nursing home care in the future. We need your help to make sure we have a strong safe staffing standard. Click here to take action.
🏠 KIDS & COMMUNITIES NEED SOLUTIONS - NOT CUTS
Americans are still recovering from the ripple effects of the pandemic, particularly our most vulnerable populations. Students still have a vast array of social, emotional and academic needs as they head back to school, and workers are re-entering a changing workplace. On top of that, the need for accessible healthcare is only growing. Now is not the time for Congress to make massive cuts to the programs we depend on, but that’s exactly what many Republicans are trying to do. It’s up to us to spread the word to make sure our communities know what’s at stake. Click here to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper; you can potentially reach thousands of people with this simple action that takes just minutes of your time.
Find a Picket Line
Workers from coast to coast are standing together for better wages, working conditions, benefits and more. Visit the national AFL-CIO strike map to find a picket line or donate to support striking workers. Click here to view the map.
August 2, 2023 | The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Union leaders told striking Hollywood writers Tuesday night that they plan to meet with representatives for studios to discuss restarting negotiations after the first official communication between the two sides since the strike began three months ago. The Writers Guild of America sent an email to members saying that the head of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations, requested a meeting on Friday to discuss the resumption of contract talks.”
August 1, 2023 | NBC Bay Area
“San Jose city workers on Tuesday were voting on whether or not to go on strike after their contract expired more than a month ago. Unions representing more than 4,500 San Jose city employees began in-person voting at two locations that would authorize a three-day strike if a new deal with better pay is not reached. The city employees include city services from 911 dispatchers in the fire department to supervisors at the San Jose airport.”
July 28, 2023 | ABC 7
“Starbucks workers joined actors and writers on the picket lines on Friday as part of the Starbucks Workers United 13-city "Union is Calling" bus tour. The Starbucks Workers United union has mobilized thousands of Starbucks employees, and the organization says that 440 locations in 46 states have at least filed to unionize.”
July 28, 2023 | Jacobin
“On top of issues like low pay, workers are up against faceless algorithmic management that can punish them for various offenses — including for refusing to cross picket lines. Workers at a hotel in Southern California are on strike against this practice.”
July 27, 2023 | The Hollywood Reporter
“Liz Shuler is no stranger to strikes. The president of the AFL-CIO — the U.S.’ largest labor federation, which counts unions from SAG-AFTRA to the United Mine Workers of America to the American Federation of Teachers as members — has seen her fair share, but in at least one respect she believes that the current actors’ and writers’ work stoppages are noteworthy.”
July 26, 2023 | The Guardian
“It’s been a fast and furious few weeks for labor. First, 3,000 workers went on strike at 150 Starbucks, then 6,000 Los Angeles hotel workers walked out, and now 11,500 Hollywood writers and 160,000 television and movie actors have gone on strike. Not only that, 340,000 UPS workers seemed ready to walk out on 1 August, and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union is threatening to strike one or more Detroit automakers later this summer.”
Pacific Northwest Labor
August 2, 2023 | Portland Mercury
“Powell's City of Books is among Portland's most universally-loved attractions, but the workers who curate Powell's recommendation shelves and assist hordes of bookworms everyday say they're underpaid, making "poverty wages" at what is otherwise a dream job for many book lovers.”
August 2, 2023 | FOX 12
“Oregon Governor Tina Kotek signed a number of bills focused on education and childcare on Thursday, including a historic investment in education.The two-year state school fund (HB 1505) was passed during the last legislative session, allocating $10.2 billion to Oregon’s schools, which is a $700 million increase from the last two-year fund.”
August 2, 2023 | The Stand - Washington State Labor Council
“The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the state’s largest union organization, represents the interests of over 600 affiliated unions with more than half a million rank-and-file members. The “voice of labor” in Washington is a democratic organization where any participating union — big or small — can propose what should be the WSLC’s policies and priorities each year. That happened last month at the WSLC’s 2023 Convention, as hundreds of delegates representing affiliated unions from across the state gathered in SeaTac to debate and approve resolutions that will guide the WSLC in the coming year. Resolutions were approved on topics ranging from apprenticeship to train crew sizes.”
July 30, 2023 | Yakima Herald-Republic
“Negotiations continue between Yakima Valley College and its faculty union, the American Federation of Teachers Local 1485, after their collective bargaining agreement expired June 30. Negotiations are expected to continue for months, according to YVC and union sources. Until a new CBA is reached, the terms and conditions of the most recent agreement remain in place, said YVC President Linda Kaminski.”
July 21, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press
“Oregon AFSCME says the murder of a mental health aide is painful validation of safety concerns union members have been raising in contract bargaining. Cascadia Behavioral Health employee Haley Rogers, a member of AFSCME Local 1790-4, was stabbed to death July 16 by one of her patients.”
August 3, 2023 | Common Dreams
“We’ve seen too often in recent years – from the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 to the sacking of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 – that violent anti-government rhetoric from politicians has deadly consequences. Any candidate who positions themselves within that shameful tradition has no place in public office.”
July 27, 2023 | Pennsylvania Capital-Star
“U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., is introducing legislation today that would allow workers on strike to collect SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. The Food Secure Strikers Act comes amid a summer wave of union organizing activity — from locomotive plant workers in Erie to Hollywood writers and actors. A strike by newsroom workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Fetterman’s hometown newspaper, has been going on for nearly a year.”
July 31, 2023 | Labor Tribune
“The heat index soared to 111 degrees in Houston, Texas, but the real-feel temperature climbed even higher than that inside the heavy personal protective equipment (PPE) that John Hayes and his colleagues at Ecoservices wear on the job. Sweat poured from the workers clad in full-body hazardous materials suits, heavy gloves, splash hoods, and steel-toed boots as they sampled and processed chemicals from huge metal containers under a searing sun.”
July 26, 2023 | The City
“A National Labor Relations Board official dismissed a petition to oust the union at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Manhattan after the NLRB regional director cited unfair labor practice charges against the company from workers at the cafe.”
July 25, 2023 | The Hollywood Reporter
“The grassroots group known as Stand With Production — which includes TV commercial production assistants, assistant production supervisors, production supervisors, line producers and bidding producers — is on track to form a national union with IATSE.”
Labor & Climate
August 1, 2023 | KGMI
“Labor unions from across the state launched a new coalition on Monday, July 31st, to address climate change in the workforce. The coalition, called Climate Jobs Washington, calls for pro-worker climate action to support job growth, especially in communities of color and rural areas.”
Labor & Technology
August 2, 2023 | Los Angeles Times
“Getting paid $900,000 a year to manage artificial intelligence projects for Netflix would’ve been an eye-popping sum even before two of Hollywood’s major unions went on strike. But now that the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA are both picketing outside Netflix’s headquarters in protest of low streaming pay and ascendant automation, such a job listing seems acutely emblematic of where the entertainment industry currently stands — and where it’s going.”