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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: December 7, 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.

Keep up with the latest from Oregon’s unions: Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Upcoming Events

🎄81st Annual Children’s Holiday Party - Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Chapter

December 9, 9:00am -12:00pm, Ken Allen AFSCME Labor Canter, 1400 Tandem Ave NE in Salem

Join the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Chapter for a free and fun-filled event with cookies, crafts, gift bags, live music and the one and only Caesar the No Drama Llama.

🛍️ The Labor Market: Flea Market and Maker Fair

December 9-10, Goldsmith Blocks Building, 412 NW Couch in Portland, 10:00am - 6:00pm

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind film worker flea market and maker fair! The Labor Market will feature original works of art, handcrafts and other creative products made by film workers, and a flea market where treasures you’ve seen on the screen in locally filmed tv shows and movies could be waiting to be discovered. All sales of goods go directly to the Union member-vendor. The market will have live music, entertainment, raffles, and special guest Santa Claus.

Take Action

📩 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 6, 2023 | Oregon Nurses Association

“Nurse practitioners and physician assistants at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center are calling for a union election to join the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA). The more than 40 advanced practice providers (APPs) want to unionize to ensure safe staffing for patients, address provider burnout, and use their collective voice and expertise to raise standards at both hospitals. The group submitted union authorization cards to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Dec. 6. The NLRB is expected to hold a hearing and set an election date in the coming weeks.”


December 5, 2023 | OFNHP, AFT Local 5017

“On December 5th, the Technical employees at the Tualatin hospital Legacy Meridian Park voted by 62% to unionize. These healthcare professionals have joined the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP), a local affiliate of the 1.7 million American Federation of Teachers, Nurses and Health Professionals (AFT). This unionization vote follows the physicians at Meridian Park, who themselves recently unionized with AFT.”


December 6, 2023 | KGW

“Gresham firefighters brought longstanding occupational safety concerns before Gresham City Council on Tuesday. They demanded improved working conditions and more staffing resources after two recent line-of-duty deaths and a growing number of serious illnesses among staff.”


December 6, 2023 | OPB

“Leslie Selcer, president of the graduate student union, told UO’s Board of Trustees Tuesday that the university is losing talent to institutions offering pay that matches their city’s cost of living. She pointed to a letter of support for the union signed by nearly 200 faculty raising concerns about recruiting and retaining qualified research staff.”


December 1, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press

“Close to 900 Kaiser Permanente pharmacy and imaging department workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington ended their strike Nov. 18 and returned to work without new contracts. The workers are represented by Tigard-based United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555. The strike began Oct. 1 with about 370 pharmacy technicians and clerks. They stayed out on strike until Oct. 21, then went back out on strike again Oct. 23. About 500 imaging technologists joined them on strike Nov. 1. Under federal law, unions have to give at least 10 days notice before striking or picketing at any health care institution.”


November 30, 2023 | OPB

“To make up the 11 days of lost instructional time for students due to the Portland Public Schools teachers strike, the Portland Association of Teachers and PPS decided to add those days back, starting with the first week of the district’s winter break, which starts on Dec. 18.”


November 30, 2023 | FOX 12

“The union representing more than 1,700 hospital service and tech workers at PeaceHealth locations in southwest Washington and Oregon announced Thursday that they have reached a tentative agreement with PeaceHealth management. This agreement follows nearly a year of negotiations and a five-day strike in October”


Tradeswomen Build Nations 2023

December 5, 2023 | Oregon AFL-CIO

“The 2023 Tradeswomen Build Nations conference was held last week in Washington DC and brought together a diverse and dynamic group of women from unions across the building and construction trades industry. Organized by North America’s Build Trades Unions, the annual event’s goal is to celebrate and advance the role of women in the building and construction trades.”


Strikes

December 6, 2023 | CNN

“Hundreds of staffers at The Washington Post are set to strike for 24 hours on Thursday, protesting recently announced cuts to the newspaper’s workforce and applying pressure on management to reach an agreement on a new union contract. “Taking this historic action is not a decision we came to lightly,” The Washington Post Guild said in a letter to readers. “We take seriously the impact it will have on the people, issues and communities we cover.””


Union Power in 2023

December 6, 2023 | The New York Times

“This year has been a good one for labor unions. They have won victories in Hollywood and the auto industry, and 67 percent of Americans approve of unions, according to Gallup. Still, I remain skeptical that union organizing is on the cusp of a major turnaround, unless federal law changes. For now, companies that aren’t unionized have many ways to prevent a union from forming even when most workers want to join one.”


Collective Bargaining

December 5, 2023 | Los Angeles Times

“Members of performers union SAG-AFTRA have voted in favor of the contract that ended the actors’ strike, following a weeks-long ratification period that saw a number of actors voice concerns about the new deal. The ratification vote, which was expected, marks the end of Hollywood’s extraordinary season of labor discontent that caused widespread disruptions across the film and TV industry.”


December 5, 2023 | Editor & Publisher

“Nearly 300 Writers Guild of America East members at MSNBC have overwhelmingly ratified their first collective bargaining agreement after over two years of negotiations. The contract includes minimum salaries for all titles, with significant pay increases for all production assistants and most associate producers, a guaranteed minimum 3% pay increase on March 1 every year for the next three years, and a ratification bonus that amounts to 2% of members’ current annual salaries.”


December 6, 2023 | The Detroit News

“The United Auto Workers union ratified a 3.5-year labor agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on Wednesday, ending an 88-day strike by 1,360 workers. The agreement was "overwhelming in favor of ratification" by UAW-represented employees in voting on Dec. 5-6, covering 1,360 BCBSM and Blue Care Network workers. The deal is retroactive to Sept. 1 and runs to May 1, 2027, Blue Cross officials said in a statement late Wednesday.”


December 4, 2023 | CBS Detroit

“Union members with the Detroit Casino Council voted to ratify a new contract with MGM Grand Detroit after 47 days on strike, according to UNITE HERE Local 24.The unions are to stop striking effective immediately.”


Organizing

December 7, 2023 | The Hollywood Reporter

“A group of production accountants employed by Netflix in New York and New Jersey has unionized with IATSE. A third party certified that a majority of the group of key accountants, assistant production accountants, payroll accountants and clerks supported joining IATSE Local 161 in a card count Wednesday.”


Hunger in Oregon

December 7, 2023 | Oregon Center for Public Policy

“In this episode of Policy for the People, we speak with Susannah Morgan, President of the Oregon Food Bank. As Susannah explains, the level of hunger right now is the worst that she has seen in her 28 years of working in food banks in several states.”


Labor Law

December 7, 2023 | AFSCME

“Wisconsin workers have sued the state, seeking to overturn a 2011 law championed by former Gov. Scott Walker that all but ended collective bargaining rights for most public sector workers.The lawsuit, filed in state court on Nov. 30, says the Wisconsin statute is unconstitutional because it divided public employees into two groups — a disfavored class and a favored class — and then imposed severe burdens just on employees in the disfavored group, violating their right to equal protection under the law.”


December 4, 2023 | Labor Tribune

“Attempting to put an end, once and for all, to a controversy that has swirled for more than a decade, the National Labor Relations Board issued what it calls “a common law”— and common sense — rule on when joint employers are jointly responsible for obeying or breaking Labor law. Using that same “basic common sense” explanation, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler called the new rule “an important win” for workers.”


Labor & Civil Rights

December 5, 2023 | AFSCME

“Norman Hill and Velma Murphy Hill have played prominent roles in both the civil rights movement and the labor movement over the past 60 years. With the publication of their memoir in October, “Climbing the Rough Side of the Mountain” (Regalo Press), they share their six-decade story of partnership, while describing the far-reaching impact of their efforts, which is sure to inspire a new generation of activists.”


Higher Education

December 4, 2023 | Daily Hampshire Gazette

“Joining a rising wave of fledgling student worker unions nationally and locally, student dining workers and residential advisers at Smith College have announced the formation of new unions to represent their interests.”


International Solidarity

December 6, 2023 | The Derrick

“ A conglomerate of unions in Norway said Wednesday it will take action against Tesla in solidarity with its Swedish colleagues, who are demanding that the Texas-based automaker sign a collective bargaining agreement.”


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