The Oregon Labor Dispatch: March 23, 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.
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Secretary-Treasurer Aida Aranda's Celebration of Life
Please join the Oregon & S. Idaho Laborers-Employers Training Trust & JATC, LIUNA Local 737, the Oregon and S. Idaho District Council of Laborers and the Oregon AFL-CIO to celebrate the incredible life of Aida Aranda. The memorial will be held on Saturday, March 25 from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Oregon & S. Idaho Laborers’ Training Center & Campus at 17242 NE Sacramento St. in Portland. Please RSVP if you plan to attend by clicking here by Wednesday, March 22.
2023 OREGON LABOR ORGANIZING SUMMIT: We’re excited to announce that the 2023 Oregon Labor Organizing Summit will be held on Wednesday, May 24 at IBEW Local 48 in Portland! This one-of-a-kind event will feature National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler as our keynote speaker! We’re planning engaging panel discussions, inspiring workshops, and ways for Oregon’s unions to come together and share resources about union organizing. Please note this event is only for union members, leaders, and staff of unions. Click here to register for this event.
PASS THE RICHARD L. TRUMKA PRO ACT: If we want to build up worker power, our outdated labor laws must keep up with the times. Support our workers. Take 30 seconds to add your name in support of the PRO Act. Click here to add your name.
Women’s History Month
March 8, 2023 | KBOO - hosted by Oregon CBTU’s Tina Turner-Morfitt
“This International Women's Day special is a combination of statements from women who are associated with women's resource organizations, women sharing their personal stories, original spoken word/poems, and musical interludes.”
MEMBER PROFILES: The National AFL-CIO has compiled a list of Women labor leaders from across our movement to highlight during Women's History Month. Click here to view the profiles.
Rest in power, Sister Aida March 15, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press
From Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor: “The Oregon labor movement suffered a great and devastating loss on Feb. 27 when our sister and Oregon AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer, Aida Aranda, passed away suddenly. To say that she was a trailblazer or that she touched the lives of countless workers would be an understatement. To share how her warm smile, calm presence, and bold leadership made organizations she worked with better wouldn’t tell the full story either. “
UO begins negotiations with graduate employee union
March 17, 2023 | KLCC
“The University of Oregon began negotiations Friday with a union of its graduate employees. In the morning, union supporters demonstrated on campus.The university currently pays graduate students to teach courses and do academic research. But union representatives say wages haven’t kept up with rising costs of living in Eugene.”
Laborers strike at CertainTeed ends with bigger raises
March 16, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press
“Members of Laborers Local 737 ratified a new three-year contract with CertainTeed Roofing in a 23-16 vote March 12, ending a strike that began Feb. 22. The strike shut down production at the company’s asphalt roof tile plant at 6350 NW Front Ave. Strikers returned to work March 13 and 14.The new contract provides the unit’s 57 members with annual raises of 6%, 3%, and 2.5%. That’s about 1.5% more overall than the company’s previous final offer, which members rejected in a unanimous 47-0 vote.”
Oregon Historical Society unveils the state’s History Makers of 2023
March 12, 2023 | KOIN 6
“According to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations that she currently serves, Milwaukie native Liz Shuler “grew up in a union household.” Her parents both worked for Portland General Electric, and her father was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Shuler later began working for IBEW’s Local Union 125, before joining AFL-CIO.”
'Zero confidence': TriMet drivers' union calls for more prosecutions from Multnomah DA
March 20, 2023 | KATU 2
“The union representing TriMet's drivers, ATU 757, says it is frustrated by the lack of prosecutions from the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office of those who assault TriMet operators.”
Woodburn teachers declare impasse and prepare for strike, in wake of dozens of resignations
March 17, 2023 | OPB
“The Woodburn School District and the union representing Woodburn teachers have been negotiating a new contract for nine months. Wednesday, Woodburn Education Association representatives announced that they’d reached an impasse with the district, a step that is legally required when talks break down. It means teachers are one step closer to a potential strike.”
Fighting “Right to Work”
Right to Work repeal will make Michigan a leading state for workers’ rights again, unions say
March 21, 2023 | Michigan Advance
“A flurry of expected signatures from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are set to accomplish what Michigan unions have been awaiting for 11 long years — a repeal of anti-labor laws like Right to Work, which suppress workers’ collective bargaining abilities and weaken union resources.”
National Teachers Union Presidents Slam DeSantis in a Preview of 2024 Education Politics
March 20, 2023 | U.S. News
“The powerful labor groups accused the Florida governor and potential GOP presidential candidate of having a dangerous agenda aimed at destroying the public school system.”
A New Era of Union Activism in Higher Ed
March 15, 2023 | Inside Higher Ed
“Labor unions are in the news a lot these days. And it’s fair to say that conditions in higher education are ripe for a level of labor activism not seen in recent decades.”
The Case For Business Leaders to Work Collaboratively with Unions
March 19, 2023 | Charter - In Partnership with Time
“As interest in unions among professional and desk-based workers continues to rise, navigating the relationship with organized labor is an increasingly important skill for leaders in industries like tech, media, and education.“
LAUSD Teachers Striking in Solidarity with Support Workers
“"How do we properly service our students when we are being overworked and underpaid and disrespected?" asked one special education assistant.”
Organizing & Membership Growth
Federal Employee Union Membership is Up 20%
March 20, 2023 | Government Executive
“Since implementation of a number of pro-labor policies a year ago, federal employee unions gained 80,000 new dues-paying members.”
Building & Construction Trades
Labor Costs for union construction are 4% less than non-union
March 15, 2023 | BizTimes
"Cost savings on projects using union labor largely came from efficiency gains related to lower field and office costs. The report found that projects employing union labor require nearly 10% fewer craft workers, on average, than projects using non-union labor.”