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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: January 25, 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

Take Action

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

Urgent call to action: Tell your lawmaker to vote YES on the Homeless Prevention Package. Yes on SB 799 and SB 611/HB 2733

We need labor laws that protect our right to organize: In 2022, union membership grew by 273,000—an amazing feat in the face of multimillion-dollar union-busting campaigns.But union density declined slightly, despite a 53% rise in union elections and high approval ratings of unions. Sign your name if you think we need labor laws that make it easier for workers to stand together in unions.

Roe V. Wade Anniversary

Jan. 24, 2023 | AFL-CIO

“The 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade should have been a day of celebration. A day where we felt energized and ready to build on this historic victory for women’s rights and increase the number of working people who could access safe abortion and quality, affordable reproductive health care. But as we recognize the 50 years since the constitutional right was passed, this day also falls just seven months short of when the U.S. Supreme Court stripped millions of working women, people and families of this fundamental freedom in a country with zero guaranteed paid family or sick leave or a national standard for affordable and accessible child care and early childhood education.”

Jan. 18, 2023 | Economic Policy Institute

“Abortion bans, low wages, and public underinvestment are interconnected economic policy tools to disempower and control workers.”

Oregon Politics

Jan. 18, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press

From Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor: “Oregon has a rich history of worker activism and first-in-the-nation policy wins. From being the first state to recognize Labor Day as an official public holiday in 1887 to the most recent legislative session with a number of critical worker protections passed, Oregon’s reputation of being “Union Strong” continues to be widely visible.”

Jan. 20, 2023 | Oregon Center for Public Policy

“Beneath the housing crisis lays another disaster that’s been aggravating our housing woes. For decades, economic inequality has been rising as the rich have captured an ever-larger share of the fruits of the economy. It’s time for policymakers to recognize that confronting the housing crisis requires, in part, meeting economic inequality head-on.”

Northwest Labor

Jan. 17, 2023 | AFSCME

“AFSCME’s United We Heal campaign has long been securing a voice on the job for behavioral health workers and helping them improve at their jobs. Now, the campaign is receiving federal support to the tune of nearly $900,000 to better prepare and train behavioral health workers in Oregon.”

Jan. 24, 2023 | The Oregonian

“Hundreds of Portland parks and transportation workers are planning to walk off their jobs next week with city leaders and a public employee union at an impasse in contract negotiations.”

Jan. 23, 2023 | Seattle Times

“April Sims knows firsthand the difference unions can make in workers’ lives. The newly elected Washington State Labor Council president said her grandfather and mother experienced lifetime journeys from low-paying, no-benefits jobs to union-represented jobs that offered better life conditions.”


Jan. 19, 2023 | Economic Policy Institute

“Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Labor Relations Board show an uptick in union organizing activity in 2022. There is further evidence that many more workers would like to form a union but face barriers to doing so.”

Jan. 24, 2023 | The New York Times

“Some of you non-gamers are probably wondering why you should care. My answer is that the game industry’s story is a universal one, of a new business growing up and becoming a major cultural institution, one that hundreds of millions of Americans regularly engage with. It is similar to the rise of the movie industry or football over the past century. They are now cornerstones of American life that started as niche forms of entertainment.”

Income Inequality

Jan. 23, 2023 | HuffPost

“A shift to a new payroll system at the grocery chain Kroger has left workers short on their paychecks and stirred up hundreds of employee complaints, according to a new lawsuit. A group of workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 filed a complaint in federal court on Jan. 19 seeking back pay and damages from Kroger. One plaintiff said he missed entire paychecks, while others said they weren’t paid for overtime or had unauthorized deductions made.”

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