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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: December 14, 2023

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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Upcoming Events 


 

Upcoming Events

✈️ Alaska AIrlines Picket at PDX 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 | Portland International Airport, meeting location TBD (map

Flight Attendants at United and Alaska Airlines continue to face tough contract fights. As the holiday travel season gets underway, they are holding informational pickets at several airports. Please show your solidarity and support by joining them.


🏤 Rally: Save the Postal Service & Postal Jobs 

Monday, January 8, 2024 | East Portland Post Office, 1020 SE 7th in Portland (map) 

Join APWU Local 128 and the Oregon Labor Movement to protest a massive transformation to the Portland area’s Postal Service that will cost workers their jobs and even close some neighborhood Post Offices.  


Take Action 

🔬 Support OHSU Graduate Researchers 

OHSU isn’t paying Graduate Researchers the wages they bargained for and are denying the union's grievances.  It’s time to tell OHSU to pay Graduate Researchers what they’re owed! 


📩 Tell the University of Oregon Board of Trustees: Don’t Cut Off Employee Healthcare!

Take action to stand with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation at the University of Oregon who are fighting hard for a fair contract and may face cuts to their healthcare by the Board of Trustees.  


🏫 Respect for Oregon Public University Staff

Please take a moment to sign a pledge in support of the 4,500 classified workers at Oregon’s public universities in their campaign to win working conditions that help students succeed, and wages that allow them to support themselves and their families. Click here to sign on. 


Oregon Labor 

December 14, 2023 | Oregon AFL-CIO 

“SB 592 is a serious upgrade to the penalties employers face for health and safety violations. The minimum penalty is now a much heftier $1,116, and it's set to keep up with inflation every year. No more being at the bottom of the list – Oregon is stepping up to show that worker safety is a top priority.”


December 14, 2023 | OPB

“As Legacy Health leaders work on a proposed merger agreement into Oregon Health & Science University, its workforce continues to organize into unions at blinding speed.  On Dec. 6, more than 40 nurse practitioners and physician assistants at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center signed cards calling for a union election to join the Oregon Nurses Association. That same day, about 150 technical employees at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin voted to form a union affiliated with the Oregon Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals, or OFNHP.”


December 14, 2023 | The Oregonian 

“A state mediator is scheduled to step into contract negotiations between the Portland Community College administration and the union that represents its roughly 1,400 faculty members in January as the parties near almost a year at the bargaining table.”


December 13, 2023 | OPB 

“Pushed by public employee unions and backed by top Democrats, Measure 113 was an attempt to end legislative walkouts. To do so, the law inserted language into the state constitution that says any lawmaker with 10 or more unexcused absences can’t hold office “for the term following the election after the member’s current term is completed.”


December 10, 2023 | KVAL 

“In the wake of the University District emergency room's closure Friday December 1st, the City Club of Eugene held a panel to discuss the closure, its impact on our most vulnerable populations, and what steps need to be taken going forward. The panel consisted of Dana Petersen-Crabb, the Senior Director of Housing Services at ShelterCare, Lynda Pond, the immediate past president of the Oregon Nurses Association, and Jocelyn Wensel, a rising 3rd year medical student.”


Historic AFL-CIO & Microsoft Deal 

December 11, 2023 | AFL-CIO 

AFL-CIO President Shuler Joins Microsoft Vice Chair & President Smith on AI and the Future of Work

New AI alliance will educate workers, incorporate labor’s voice in tech development and help shape policy that supports workers.


December 12, 2023 | New York Times 

“Punctuating a year of major gains for organized labor, Microsoft has announced that it will stay neutral if any group of U.S.-based workers seeks to unionize. Roughly 100,000 workers would be eligible to unionize under the framework, which was disclosed Monday by Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. president, Liz Shuler, during a forum at the labor federation’s headquarters in Washington.”


December 11, 2023 | Reuters 

“Microsoft and the AFL-CIO union federation said Monday they had struck a deal whereby the U.S. software giant will remain neutral in efforts by unions to encourage workers to become members. The two sides will also work together on the future of artificial intelligence, in a first-of-its-kind partnership on AI and the future of the workforce as business and labor grapple with the impact of the technology.”


National Politics 

December 13, 2023 | AFL-CIO 

Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the House impeachment inquiry: “Today’s vote by extremist House Republicans to authorize an impeachment inquiry into President Biden will go down as yet another pathetic and dangerous stunt by a hyper-partisan group of politicians who are more interested in political retribution than governing.”


Civil & Human Rights 

December 12, 2023 | The Washington Post

“Ten current and former Alabama prisoners say they were forced to participate in work programs that raised money for the state while providing cheap labor to public- and private-sector employers, including franchisees of Burger King, McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday. The plaintiffs, who also include several labor unions and the criminal justice nonprofit Woods Foundation, say the system amounts to a “modern-day form of slavery” comparable to convict-leasing programs that existed after the Civil War.”


Buying Union 

December 1, 2023 | AFL-CIO 

“Find that perfect holiday gift that carries a union label and is made in America. Shipping gifts this year? Make sure to ship using a union carrier like the U.S. Postal Service or UPS.”


Organizing 

December 14, 2023 | Axios 

“The closure of the union and non-union stores marks the latest of several cases involving the coffee chain giant and the Starbucks Workers United union, which has on several occasions accused the company of illegally interfering with workers' rights.”


December 13, 2023 | UFCW 

“Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.2 million essential workers in grocery, meatpacking, food processing, retail, and other essential industries across North America, released a statement following Ben & Jerry’s ice cream processing workers’ decision to unionize at the Waterbury, Vermont plant.”


December 13, 2023 | Financial Times 

“Christian Sweeney, the group’s deputy organizing director, says it is working to ensure workers have technical tools, such as software designed for organizing, and it is running training sessions to boost organizing capacity. “Organizing begets organizing,” Sweeney says. “When one employer organizes, it’s viral.””


Strikes 

December 8, 2023 | Los Angeles Times

“After five months of on-and-off strikes by Southern California hotel workers, there are signs of progress toward a resolution. On Friday, Unite Here Local 11 announced it had reached a tentative contract agreement with the Beverly Hilton covering more than 500 unionized workers. The union struck deals Saturday with two other properties managed by Hilton: for some 300 workers at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, and about 800 workers at the Hilton Anaheim.”


December 7, 2023 | People’s World 

“Absolute refusal by the Washington Post to bargain, for 18 months pushed 700 of them, represented by The Washington-Baltimore News Guild into an 8 a.m.-midnight strike on December 7. “They haven’t budged,” Guild Executive Director Cet Parks said in a telephone talk with Peoples World. WBNG took to social media and the Action Network to make its case, urging subscribers not to engage with Post any way on strike day. The Action Network letter was addressed to three top Post executives, not including its owner, Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s richest people.”


Union Power in Higher Education

December 12, 2023 | KEYT

“A supermajority of student dining hall workers at UC Santa Barbara signed authorization cards to create the Student Dining Labor Union last Thursday. This is the first undergraduate dining hall workers union on any University of California campus and the new union will join UAW Local 2865, the existing union for UC student workers, detailed Jasmine Rebollar, a current student dining hall worker and third-year student at UC Santa Barbara studying Aquatic Biology.”


December 12, 2023 | Chicago Reader

“As the University of Chicago negotiates with labor groups representing nearly 6,000 workers, graduate student workers joined in solidarity with the university medical center’s nurses Monday, December 4, to demand the school to settle on a fair deal with workers.”


December 7, 2023 | WREX

“Northern Illinois University union workers spoke out on Thursday about their concerns, demanding improvements in pay rates and staffing levels. This push is coming from members of the AFSCME 963 union.” 


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