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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: February 15, 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


Actions & Events

CITIZENSHIP CLINIC: The Oregon AFL-CIO is proud to host a free Citizenship Clinic and Community Fair alongside community partners and AFT.

Saturday, February 18, starting at 8:30am

Oregon Labor Center, 3645 SE 32nd Ave in Portland

POSTAL RALLY: Protest understaffing, overwork, delay of mail. Raise wages and benefits to attract and retain Postal Workers. Sponsored by Communities and Postal Workers United and American Postal Workers Union Local 128.

Monday, February 20 from noon to 1:00pm

East Portland Post Office, 1020 SE 7th Ave

PETITION: Help build a brighter future for workers and the community at Portland State University.

SEND A LETTER: Tell Your Lawmaker to Cosponsor the FAIR ACT! Federal wages and salaries need a substantial adjustment both to restore the living standards of federal employees and to help agencies recruit and retain a federal workforce capable of carrying out the crucial missions of our government. Not only are federal employees paid less than our counterparts in the private sector and state and local government, but our wages and salaries DO NOT begin to keep up with the cost of living. It's time for lawmakers to show their support for the folks that keep our federal government running by cosponsoring the FAIR ACT.

Oregon Politics

Lawmakers must center workers Feb. 15, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press

By Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor: “Between now and June, lawmakers have an opportunity, and an obligation, to deliver on many of these policies if we are to continue to make progress towards our shared vision—one where Oregon’s economy is fair and just for ALL working people. The Oregon labor movement stands united in our mission to make this the best state for working people, and our 2023 legislative priorities are a central component to that work. With a guiding value of solidarity, working people and our movement will never stop the march towards a brighter future, and we look forward to partnering with lawmakers in the coming months to deliver on this worker-centered agenda.”

Black History Month

Feb. 10, 2023 | Word in Black

By National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond: “On the 55th anniversary of the Memphis Sanitation Strike, Fred Redmond — the nation’s highest-ranking African American to ever serve in the labor movement — hopes to “unleash a new era of economic prosperity for Black workers.””

Feb. 1, 2023 | NPR

“Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape the nation. Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, triumphs and adversities that are an indelible part of our country's history.”

MEMBER PROFILES: During the month of February, the National AFL-CIO is lifting up Black union siblings who make our movement stronger. Click here to access a folder of graphics of profiles of Black union siblings who have been highlighted by the National AFL-CIO so far this month - and be sure to check out our Facebook feed for more profiles of Black union members as Black History Month continues!


Feb. 8, 2023 | The Washington Post

“Temple University has withdrawn tuition assistance for more than a hundred of its graduate students who have been on strike for a week, an unprecedented move in the nascent graduate labor movement.”


Feb. 14, 2023 | NPR

“"Parents want success for their kids," Mike Clifton, who taught machining for more than two decades at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology before retiring, said in 2018. "They get stuck on [four-year bachelor's degrees], and they're not seeing the shortage there is in tradespeople until they hire a plumber and have to write a check."”


Feb. 14, 2023 | Truthout

“Tesla workers in Buffalo, New York, are seeking to form the company’s first union, the workers announced on Tuesday, with help from leaders of the Starbucks union effort that has seen prodigious success over the past two years.”

Feb. 14, 2023 | Phoenix News Times

“On Saturday — a day before the Kansas City Chiefs faced the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale — a small crowd gathered in the shadow of a Starbucks on Indian School Road in Avondale. It was an unlikely gathering: NFL players stood beside Starbucks baristas chanting into bullhorns and holding signs that read, "Hey, union-busting CEOs. Let's play ball."”

Feb. 9, 2023 | 19 News

“Cleveland educators are helping out children in war-torn Ukraine this week. Shari Obrenski, the president of the Cleveland Teachers Union, went to Lviv to give out life saving generators to schools. “It’s been really inspiring,” Obrenski said of her visit thus far. Obrenski spent the last week delivering generators to every kindergarten and Pre-K education center in the region. The American Federation of Teachers purchased the generators with donations from thousands of their members.”

Union Victories

Feb. 13, 2023 | In These Times “A recent victory over wage theft shows what workers everywhere need to claw back their stolen pay—support, resources and enforcement.”

Feb. 11, 2023 | Freight Waves

“Our freight rail members have stood strong for so long in order to achieve this victory,” IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. said. “We’re going to continue to wage this battle across the industry to win this critical benefit for all freight rail workers.”

The Wage Gap

Feb 12, 2023 | The Hill

By Wendy Chun-Hoon, director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: “How do unions make a difference? Let some facts do the talking. On average, workers represented by unions earn more than those working in non-union jobs, and union men and women also have more equitable wages compared to each other. Today, 6.5 million women are union members and make up 47 percent of all workers unions represent.”

Workplace Safety

Feb. 14, 2023 | Mother Jones

“Recent investigations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have found that Amazon is continually failing to keep workers like Crane, a packer at a St. Louis–area warehouse, safe from back injuries and other serious, chronic muscular disorders.”

Federal Workers

Feb. 14, 2023 | Fox 8

“Lawmakers are pushing for higher pay for federal and DC government employees. Activists and Unions say the increase is overdue. “What we are asking for today is that you be given the respect that you deserve,” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond said.”

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