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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: June 27, 2024

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.

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Upcoming Events

Register Now! OR AFL-CIO/LERC Summer School

Friday July 19-21, 2024 | University of Oregon Campus in Eugene

We are excited to be back together for this year’s Summer School, sponsored by the Oregon AFL-CIO and the Labor Education and Research Center, hosted on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene on July 19-21, 2024. Whether you are a new member or experienced leader, Summer School has something for you. Join us for a weekend of education, discussion and socializing with 100+ other union members from across the state. To register and learn more go to:

Must Read 

June 27, 2024 | Oregon AFL-CIO

“On July 1, Oregon’s three minimum wage levels will increase by 50 cents, bringing the hourly minimum wage to $15.95 an hour in the Portland Metro Area, $14.70 in standard counties, and $13.70 in non-urban counties. According to the most recent data from 2022, just over 4% of Oregon workers earn minimum wage. That means over 100,000 people will see their paychecks go up in July.”

June 25, 2024 | Oregon AFL-CIO

“CHIPS Communities United (CCU), a coalition of labor unions, environmental organizations, and community groups, and the Oregon AFL-CIO today urged Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) to invest in its workers and honor their demands for living wages, safer working conditions, and an end to unpaid shutdowns. ADI worker demands point to larger job quality concerns and the need for strong labor standards accompanying public investment in the semiconductor industry.”

Oregon Labor

June 26, 2024 | Mass Transit

“TriMet and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757 leadership have reached a tentative agreement on a proposed new Working and Wage Agreement. The new contract includes compromises and improvements that benefit TriMet’s union employees, the agency and TriMet riders. If ratified by TriMet union members and approved by the TriMet Board of Directors, the new, four-year contract will take effect on Dec. 1, 2024, though an increase in the agency contribution to union employees’ 401a plan would go into effect after board approval.“

June 24, 2024 | Rogue Valley Times 

“The next round of contract negotiations are currently unscheduled for most of the six Providence hospitals involved in what was believed to be Oregon's largest-ever nurses strike last week. And bargaining sessions for Providence Medford Medical Center are at least two and a half weeks away. Union leadership and hospital management reported over the weekend that a Providence Medford bargaining session scheduled for Monday was postponed because a federal mediator would not be available“

June 24, 2024 | The Oregonian

“The roughly 1,300 Portland-area janitors unionized with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 49 work at some of Portland’s most prominent businesses, including Nike, Adidas, and Intel. They also clean at Oregon Health Science University and at landmark buildings in downtown Portland, as well as the Lloyd District.”

June 24, 2024 | The Oregonian

“Women’s March, a women-led grassroots organization, is calling for a nationwide women’s strike, asking women and allies all over the country to refrain from work, school, and spending at non-women owned businesses in an effort to spread awareness of equal rights, reproductive rights, and an end to gender-based violence. Local organizers have put together their own events in Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, and other cities, including Washington, D.C.”

June 24, 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio

“Minimum wage workers in Oregon will see a 50 cents per hour bump in pay starting next month. Oregon’s minimum wage varies based on location. On July 1, the state’s standard minimum wage will rise to $14.70 per hour. The minimum wage in the Portland metro area is $1.25 above standard and will increase to $15.95 per hour. The wage in nonurban counties is $1 below standard and will go up to $13.70 per hour.”

June 24, 2024 | Oregon Capital Chronicle

“U.S. Rep. Andrea Salinas of Oregon wants farmworkers to be eligible for disaster relief money when they lose wages during disasters and public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic or 2021 heat wave that killed more than 100 Oregonians. Salinas, a Democrat who represents the 6th Congressional District, has introduced a bill, called the “Disaster Relief for Farm Workers Act,” that would compensate farmworkers for lost earnings due to events beyond their control that are tied to extreme weather and public health. The bill’s intent is to help a vulnerable but critical segment of Oregon’s population that works for low wages, often housed in tight quarters with no financial safety net to rely upon when disasters strike.”

June 21, 2024 | Oregon Business

“The Oregon Nurses Association, which represents 4,500 OHSU employees, said in a statement the university needs to get its priorities straight and focus on expanding services. The president of AFSCME Local 328 is quoted as saying the cuts are especially galling because OHSU is a premier health care provider in the region. AFSCME has so far gathered 3,000 employee signatures for a petition to management.”

June 21, 2024 | The Oregonian

“Workers at one of Oregon’s biggest semiconductor manufacturers say they’re being shortchanged as their employer collects millions of dollars in state and federal subsidies. About 70 employees of Analog Devices Inc. delivered a petition complaining about wages and working conditions at their factory near Beaverton.”

Washington Labor

June 25, 2024 | Public Service News

“Workers who help Washington state classrooms run are calling for higher wages. Known as classified staff, their jobs include administrative work, transportation and custodial services. Unions representing workers, including the American Federation of Teachers of Washington and Washington Education Association, have launched a wage campaign to increase pay for these workers. Anitra Wise, a para-educator with the Tacoma School District, helps teachers in the classroom and said her wages simply aren't enough.”

June 25, 2024 | KOMO News

“Members of the Everett NewsGuild have extended their labor strike after the newspaper laid off nearly half of its newsroom. Last week, the owner of The Everett Herald, Carpenter Media Group announced layoffs including 10 of 18 union workers. The layoffs include the executive editor, managing editor, page designer, web producer, six reporters and two photographers, the NewsGuild said. The NewGuild represented by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, released a statement that workers would not be going into work Monday and instead would participate in a one-day strike.”

Clean Energy Jobs

June 26, 2024 | AFL-CIO

“These new wage regulations are a historic win for working people, made possible with the culmination of decades of advocacy by the labor movement and years of work by the Biden–Harris administration. Today, we fulfill one of the key promises of the Inflation Reduction Act: that we can create good-paying union jobs and advance clean energy policy at the same time.”

June 24, 2024 | HuffPost

“U.S. companies have created more than 300,000 clean energy jobs since President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in August 2022, according to a detailed new analysis from an environmental advocacy group. Climate Power, a left-leaning organization focused on combating climate change, has been meticulously tracking public announcements of clean energy jobs from the private sector since the law’s passage. As of May 31, it found that U.S. companies have announced or moved forward with projects accounting for more than 312,900 new clean energy jobs for electricians, mechanics, construction workers, technicians, support staff and others.”

June 21, 2024 | MSN

“President Joe Biden's administration on Tuesday unveiled final rules for new clean energy subsidies in an effort to make jobs and wages in green industries competitive with those in oil and gas. The guidelines for companies seeking to claim tax credits tied to job quality are aimed at delivering on Biden's vision that fighting climate change will create millions of jobs with good pay and benefits.”


June 26, 2024 | The New York Times

“Labor unions have won some big victories in the past few years, including in the auto industry and Hollywood. But if organized labor is going to have a true resurgence in the United States, it can’t simply win raises for workers it already represents. It will need to organize new workers and reverse the decades-long decline in union membership. That’s why recent events at Starbucks have been so significant. The company and the union — which represents more than 400 of Starbucks’s 10,000 U.S. stores — appear on track to reach a contract that will cover wages, benefits and disciplinary policies. This would be a major milestone. Even after workers win a union election, companies often drag their feet when bargaining a contract. If years pass with little or no progress, union supporters may get demoralized and leave, causing the union to unravel."

June 25, 2024 | Healthcare Brew

“Roughly six months since the Pharmacy Guild was formed, a handful of retail pharmacies across the US have filed to join the union. While unionizing is common for other healthcare workers like nurses, pharmacists historically haven’t organized. In 2023, just 4.6% of pharmacists (or about 15,260 people) were covered by union contracts, the Wall Street Journal reported. The creation of the Pharmacy Guild and the subsequent unionizations followed a series of pharmacy worker walkouts in late 2023. But Gerald Friedman, a union expert and economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is skeptical of how much of an effect a union could have against large corporations like CVS or Walgreens."

June 24, 2024 | Audacy

“When Unite Here Local 11 kicked off the largest hotel strike in modern U.S. history, even the union leadership wasn’t expecting it to go this far. “We have a militancy in our membership now that I don't – it's unmatched. I've never seen anything like it,” co-president Kurt Petersen said. “I mean, I'm scared of the workers now.” In July 2023, Unite Here Local 11, which represents 32,000 hospitality workers in Los Angeles and Orange counties, began a series of work stoppages after their contracts expired with 65 major hotels."


June 22, 2024 | Jacobin

When workers at three Station Casinos properties in Las Vegas, Nevada — the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, the Boulder Station Hotel & Casino, and the Palace Station Hotel & Casino — started organizing to join the Culinary Workers Union in 2019, Station Casinos management kicked off a heavy-handed union-busting campaign. Now, thanks to a first-of-its-kind National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling, the casino chain may be forced to recognize a union despite its workers not having won a union election.


June 21, 2024 | AP

“As the general election nears, Democrats are keen to remind union voters in Pennsylvania that pensions for many workers have been preserved as part of a coronavirus pandemic-era aid package that keeps on giving. As of Friday, the White House said, more than 1 million union workers and retirees’ pensions will have been saved by the Butch Lewis Act, which became law in the spring of 2021. The law, enacted as part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, will ultimately stop cuts to the retirement benefits of 2 million workers and retirees across the country."

The Union Difference

June 24, 2024 | Labor Tribune

“New studies prove what unions have been arguing for years: Union membership means more wealth for working Americans. The Center for American Progress (CAP) analyzed new data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances and found that the median union household has significantly more wealth than non-union households, and these differences hold across demographic groups including race, ethnicity and education levels."

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