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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: March 28, 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.


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.



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Must Read 

March 25, 2024 | Fast Company

AFL-CIO President Liz Schuler and Mike Kubzansky, the CEO of the Omidyar Network on why workers need to have a seat at the table when their companies are using AI. “AI has enormous potential to build prosperity and unleash human creativity, but only if it also works for working people.”


March 26, 2024 | Fox 44 News 

“In times like these, we must come together, ensuring the safety and security of our infrastructure for all. Our leadership team is in close contact with local and state authorities to offer our assistance and support in the recovery process. When the time comes, we are committed to mobilizing our members to restore this crucial piece of Baltimore's infrastructure. Together, we will rebuild and, in doing so, honor the memory of those we have lost.”


Oregon & Washington Labor 

March 27, 2024 | CBS News

“Legislation in Washington state known as the "Strippers' Bill of Rights," which advocates say includes the most comprehensive statewide protections in the nation for adult dancers, was signed into law on Monday.”


March 25, 2024 | Hillsboro NewsTimes

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici: “In his State of the Union remarks, President Biden recounted a conversation he had with a group of CEOs during his vice presidency. When he asked them what they needed most, they responded “a better-educated workforce.” Oregonians and Americans benefit from expanded opportunities to advance, innovate and earn a good living that will support them and their families, and employers benefit when they share the responsibility to help our workforce adapt and thrive.”


March 22, 2024 | OPB

Earlier this month, OPB received a request from a group of OPB staff to voluntarily recognize Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) as their representative. Today, OPB has officially voluntarily recognized the union and will begin work with SAG-AFTRA on next steps in the process. 


March 21, 2024 | OPB 

“The union began contract negotiations in February 2023, four months before its previous contract was set to expire on June 30. Guzman said there have been successes over the past year, with the union and administration reaching tentative agreements on retirement, non-discrimination language, disciplinary concerns and resignation. But the two sides remain far apart on wages.”


March 26, 2024 | KGW News 

“When educators began this bargain back April of 2023, we knew our contract needed to be revamped from the bottom up, and that's what tonight's tentative agreement represents — a new start for students and educators in Salem," said Tyler Scialo-Lakeberg, president of the Salem-Keizer Education Association (SKEA).”


Women’s History Month

March 23, 2024 | Hoodline

“The White House commemorated Women's History Month by hosting a roundtable with prominent female labor leaders, placing a spotlight on the administration's push for gender equality in the workforce. During the session, in partnership with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), participants discussed strategies to uplift women in labor and acknowledged the steps taken by the Biden-Harris administration towards this cause.”


March 25, 2024 | Teen Vogue 

“For generations, industries with predominantly women and immigrant workforces—like the clothing and textile industry—have flouted the law, exposed workers to dangerous conditions, and failed to pay minimum wage and overtime. To create change, it has taken workers using their voices to fight for their basic rights. I’ve asked my team at the Department of Labor to use every tool we have to support and empower workers in that fight.”


Organizing & Actions

March 25, 2024 | WMFJ

“Picketers with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers have gathered outside T&W Stamping with signs alleging unfair business practices and illegal actions from T&W. 21 News spoke with the union's Director of Research and Collective Bargaining Don Hamric who tells us negotiations between the union and T&W are currently ongoing. Hamric alleged multiple instances of illegal activity from T&W Stamping. "They've regressively bargained. They've put something on the table and pulled it off. They've prematurely implemented some of our proposals that we don't have agreement on. They've threatened some of our committee with some jobs that they have as if, if they didn't comply, their jobs were in jeopardy," Hamric said.”


March 25, 2024 | CBS Philly

“Aramark workers on Sunday overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, a union spokesperson said in a release. The workers are represented by Unite Here Local 274 -- Philadelphia's food service workers union. The union voted 92% to authorize a strike if necessary.”


March 22, 2024 | News Center Maine 

“The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago says it will recognize a union representing about 100 employees who organized last month. The new union, MCA Workers United, is part of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which has led a recent wave of successful unionizing efforts at city museums. In a joint announcement Friday, the museum and new union said they had begun a process for employees to submit signed union cards to a third party for verification. Once verified, the museum will recognize the union, and they will prepare to begin negotiating a contract.”


March 22, 2024 | Missouri Independent 

“Employees at BeLeaf Medical’s Sinse Cannabis site in St. Louis moved a step closer to unionizing last week, when their employer’s efforts to block union election votes from being counted were rebuffed by a federal labor official. Since September, BeLeaf leaders have argued before the National Labor Relations Board that the employees weren’t eligible to unionize because they were agricultural workers – who are not protected under federal labor law.”


NLRB 

March 26, 2024 | Common Dreams

“A month after the United Auto Workers announced that a majority of workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Alabama had signed union cards, employees struck a defiant tone Tuesday as they filed official complaints of union-busting by the company with the National Labor Relations Board. Workers detailed the illegal disciplinary measures management has taken against them for taking leave and objecting to anti-union materials that have been shown in captive-audience meetings since most of the plant's 6,000 workers indicated they want to join the UAW.”


March 27, 2024 | The Stand 

“The Boeing Company violated federal labor law by retaliating against seven of its instructor pilots who had engaged in union activity, a federal administrative law judge ruled. “I find that Boeing was motivated by anti-union animus and was punishing its (Flight Training Airplane) pilots for their union activity in April 2020,” Judge Gerald M. Etchingham wrote in his order issued March 22 for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). “No other rational explanation exists.”


Politics

March 26, 2024 | Jacobin

“Labor has been stirring recently. That’s unacceptable for bosses, who never rest in their attacks on unions. Case in point: a new bill in Georgia that seeks to ensure the unionization process is as difficult for workers and favorable to bosses as possible. The Georgia legislation passed in the state senate last month 31-23 and in the House on Wednesday 96-78, in votes that fell almost entirely along party lines, with Republicans backing the bill. It’s sure to face legal challenges for violating the NLRA’s protection of workers’ right to voluntary recognition. As American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) president Liz Shuler said of the bill, it “violat[es] long-held precedent established by the NLRA.”


Voting Rights

March 22, 2024 | New York Times 

“Georgia, with its long history of the suppression of Black voters, has been ground zero for fights about voting rights laws for decades. The state has often seen stark differences in turnout between white and nonwhite communities, with the latter typically voting at a much lower rate. But not always: In the 2012 election, when Barack Obama won a second term in the White House, the turnout rate for Black voters under 38 in Lowndes County — a Republican-leaning county in southern Georgia — was actually four percentage points higher than the rate for white voters of a similar age. It proved to be temporary. According to new research by Michael Podhorzer, the former political director of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., by 2020, turnout for younger white voters in Lowndes was 14 percentage points higher than for Black voters of the same age”


Energy & Climate 

March 27, 2024 | People’s World 

“Labor leaders presented a pro-worker vision for generating sustainable offshore wind energy along the Southern New England coast at a virtual press conference, on Friday, March 15. This effort unites organized labor, the environmental movement, coastal communities, and elected officials. The press conference was moderated by Patrick Crowley, Secretary-Treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. The national significance of this commitment was highlighted by introductory remarks from Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO. Shuler said that good union jobs, environmental issues, offshore wind energy, and building a renewable energy industry are tied together.”


Apprenticeships

March 22, 2024 | Pittsburgh Union Press 

“Pireaux and others led tours of the union training facility Thursday as part of a national effort by Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, to spread the word about the value of union labor. McGarvey joined a group of elected officials and labor leaders who spoke at a program after the tour to encourage more workers to apply for apprenticeships in the building trades.”


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