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.
🏳️⚧️ TRANS DAY OF SOLIDARITY: RALLY & PICKET
Saturday, September 2 at 4:00pm, Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland
Hear from trans union members on what unions across the country and in Oregon could be doing to benefit and protect not only their own trans union members, but all trans workers in our country.
📖POWELL’S LABOR DAY STRIKE RALLY
Monday, September 4 at 1:00pm Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209
On Monday, September 4, workers at Powell’s Books will be going on a one-day Unfair Labor Practice Strike. This will be the first strike for Powell’s workers in 20 years!
Join workers for a rally at Powell’s City of Books on Labor Day at 1:00pm
🏞️ LABOR DAY 2023
Monday, September 4: Picnics in Canby, Salem, Springfield, Bend and Phoenix
Join union members, local elected officials, and working families in communities across Oregon to celebrate Labor Day! Click here to find out more information about the picnics and events happening throughout Oregon.
⚕️STAND WITH SEIU LOCAL 49 MEMBERS AT KAISER
Show your support for Kaiser healthcare workers in their efforts to address the staffing crisis and improve patient care at Kaiser Permanente. Click here to sign on.
🏫SUPPORT PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY ADJUNCT FACULTY
Over 1,000 adjunct faculty are employed at Portland State University. Faculty have endured years of inequitable and degrading working conditions and wages that have not kept pace with the cost of living. Click here to learn more about their struggle and sign onto a letter of community support.
The State of the Unions
August 29, 2023 | AFL-CIO
“Today, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond delivered an inaugural State of the Unions address where they released new polling which underscores the American people’s support of unions—especially that of young workers—and their view of unions as critical to growing the middle class and providing opportunities for working people to thrive. Additionally, both officers stressed that with this unprecedented level of support, working people in unions are prepared to organize like never before, hold big corporations accountable and restore America’s promise for all.”
August 31, 2023 | New York Amsterdam News
“The State of the Unions event touted the strength of union membership and is promoting labor union organizing with the idea that #ItsBetterInAUnion. Shuler pointed to a new poll conducted by the political research firm GBAO that found support for unions is at an all-time high. Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all look favorably upon unions, according to poll results. In fact, among those surveyed, GBAO found “the want and need for unions is greatest among those” who are under 30.”
New Polling on Support for Unions
August 30, 2023 | Gallup
“Labor unions continue to enjoy high support in the U.S., with 67% of Americans approving of them, similar to the elevated level seen in recent years after more than a decade of rising support. Mirroring this trend, Americans have gradually become more likely than a decade ago to want unions’ influence to strengthen and to believe unions benefit various aspects of business and the economy.”
August 29, 2023 | The Hill
“More than two-thirds of Americans support unions, according to new polling data the AFL-CIO released Tuesday. Union support is particularly high among young Americans: 88 percent of Americans younger than 30, according to AFL-CIO data. “Do you know how hard it is to get two-thirds of Americans to agree on anything? Let me put it another way: More Americans believe in unions than like chocolate ice cream,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler told union organizers and members during the organization’s inaugural “State of the Unions” address.”
August 29, 2023 | USA Today
“Widespread strikes and contract negotiations brought unions to the forefront of the news this summer, coining the term "summer of strikes." As Labor Day approaches, strike activity remains steady and doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. How does the public feel about labor unions and hot strike summer? More than two-thirds of Americans support unions, according to a recent poll from The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO). That number is even higher for people younger than 30, 88% percent saying they support labor unions.”
August 30, 2023 | KLCC
“In downtown Springfield, construction workers are adding a new story to a building across from the Emerald Arts Center. The renovation is tearing down a mural that honored local laborers. But its demise has given rise to a new, reimagined mural full of the faces past and present who made Springfield what it is today.”
August 24, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press
“One week after union nurses reached an impasse in negotiations with Oregon Health and Sciences University, the hospital announced a $1 billion merger with Legacy Health System. The deal — if approved by the Oregon Health Authority, Washington Health Department, and the Federal Trade Commission — would combine the two largest health care systems in the Portland region and create what would be the city’s single largest employer.”
August 28, 2023 | The American Prospect
“Hot Labor Summer just became a scorcher. Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board released its most important ruling in many decades. In a party-line decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC, the Board ruled that when a majority of a company’s employees file union affiliation cards, the employer can either voluntarily recognize their union or, if not, ask the Board to run a union recognition election.”
August 30, 2023 | ABC 7
“Hundreds of nurses joined Hollywood writers and actors on the picket lines Tuesday for a solidarity march that focused on their concerns regarding artificial intelligence. Registered nurses with National Nurses United, the nation's largest union of registered nurses, rallied around the Sunset Bronson Studios, many with signs that read, "Flip the script on AI."”
August 28, 2023 | Boston 25
“The union that represents resident assistants at Tufts University is planning to go on strike on move-in day on Tuesday, August 29. OPEIU Local 153 voted in favor on Friday to authorize a strike after management refused to meet their demand of providing an economic counterproposal.”
August 27, 2023 | CNBC
“From writers’ rooms to car factories, workers are pressing companies for higher pay and better quality of life. Many are willing to walk off the job to get there, and some are winning.”
August 25, 2023 | CBS News Detroit
“Members of the University of Michigan's Graduate Employees' Organization have ratified a new three-year contract with the administration, bringing a five-month strike to an end. Members of the union rallied on campus on Friday before marching to Rackham Graduate School to hold a press conference. The grad workers walked off the job on March 29, demanding a living wage and better benefits. It was the longest work stoppage in both the union and the university's history.”
August 25, 2023 | ABC 7
"This is solidarity, baby!" said Teamster member Alison Taylor, who was volunteering at the food drive taking place on the Motion Picture and Television Fund's Woodland Hills campus Thursday. "If you want something done, you have to band together. You have to stick together to get anything accomplished. That's what we're doing."
Building a Fair & Just Economy
August 29, 2023 | Market Watch
“The decline of U.S. worker power since the 1970s has led to economic inequality and stagnant wages, and supporting labor unions may be key to reversing that trend, the Biden administration said Monday. President Joe Biden often calls himself the most pro-union president in American history, and on Monday — a week before Labor Day, and as many workers around the country are either on strike or poised to go on strike — the Treasury Department released a report about the benefits of unions and what the administration can do to help boost unionization.”
Buy Union on Labor Day
August 31, 2023 | AFL-CIO
Whether it's Memorial Day, July 4 or Labor Day, make sure your barbecue is stocked with union-made in America products.
August 28, 2023 | The Hollywood Reporter
“Visual effects workers at Walt Disney Pictures have filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board that could allow them to unionize with IATSE. The news comes as Disney-owned Marvel VFX workers are currently organizing for their own union election amid the writers and actors strikes.”
August 30, 2023 | AFL-CIO
Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: “We commend this week’s announcement from the Department of Labor on its proposed rule to clarify workers’ rights to fully participate during the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s inspections. This will level the playing field to ensure that workers have representation of our choosing, just as employers do.”
August 30, 2023 | AFL-CIO
Statement by AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: “New proposed overtime protections mark a victory for working people that will improve the lives of millions of families across America. The new rule ensures workers who make less than $55,068 automatically are eligible for overtime, and this threshold is indexed to wage growth going forward. This is one more example of the Biden administration delivering on its promises to prioritize the needs of working people. Denying overtime for workers earning over $35,568 a year is simply not acceptable, not fair and not reflective of the work employees do every day to go above and beyond.”
August 30, 2023 | ABC 7
“The Biden administration proposed a new rule Wednesday that would make 3.6 million more U.S. workers eligible for overtime pay, the most generous such increase in decades. The rule revives an Obama-era effort that faced pushback from business leaders and Republicans and was ultimately scuttled in court. Business groups Labor advocates and liberal lawmakers have pushed the Biden administration to take the fight back up, arguing that overtime protections have been sharply eroded over the decades by wage stagnation and inflation.”
Labor & Technology
August 29, 2023 | Bloomberg Law
“AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler called on the US labor movement Tuesday to put itself at the front of the effort to stop job loss to artificial intelligence. “We better be damn sure that the benefits and wealth created are shared by all of us,” Shuler said in a pre-Labor Day speech at the labor federation’s headquarters in Washington. “Let it make our lives easier, let it make our jobs better.” “That is not how it feels right now,” she continued. “We feel afraid that technology is going to make us earn less, it’s going to make our jobs worse. It’s going to dehumanize us.” Shuler’s remarks came on the 46th day of tandem strikes by screenwriters and actors, who are at a stalemate with studios over concern that workers would be replaced by AI-generated content. The AFL-CIO represents SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union.”