The Oregon Labor Dispatch: May 10, 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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STAND WITH STRIKING ENTERTAINMENT WRITERS: While studio and streaming company profits have remained high and spending on content has grown, writers are falling behind. The companies have used the transition to streaming to cut writer pay and separate writing from production, worsening working conditions for writers at all levels. Stand with the 11,500 members who write and produce the TV shows and films that entertain the world. Add your name if you support the striking workers and think they should get a fair deal. Click here to take action.
MAY SPECIAL ELECTION PHONE BANKS: Help elect pro-worker, pro-union candidates in school board and local elections! The Oregon AFL-CIO and Oregon’s Central Labor Chapters are hosting remote phone banks on May 10, May 11 and May 15 from 5:30 - 7:00pm. RSVP for your shift by clicking here.
CANVASS FOR SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES IN SALEM: Join the Marion Polk Yamhill Central Labor Chapter, PCUN, and the Community for Salem-Keizer Schools to canvass for Cynthia Richardson and Kelley Strawn for Salem-Keizer School Board! Saturday, May 13 at 10:00am at 2540 Coral Ave NE, Salem, OR 97305. Click here to RSVP.
STATE WORKER RALLY: Stand with State of Oregon workers as they fight for: COLAs that reflect the rapidly increasing cost of living in Oregon, funding to hire more workers and fix the statewide staffing crisis, an immediate fix to the workday payroll disaster that has imputed thousands of State employees. Monday, May 16 at 10:00am at the State Capitol steps, 900 Court St. NE in Salem
Click here to see a flier for the rally
COMING UP SOON: 2023 OREGON LABOR ORGANIZING SUMMIT: It’s time to register for what is shaping up to be an amazing event! Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind event focused on union organizing. Join Oregon’s unions for a day of skill building, networking, and learning about how to build power for Oregon workers. The Summit will feature workshops on internal organizing, growing membership in the building trades, immigrant organizing strategies, and first contract campaigns as well as panel discussions, presentations and a keynote speech from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler! Please note this event is only for union members, leaders, and staff of unions. Click here to register for this event.
Find more upcoming events on the Oregon AFL-CIO Solidarity Calendar. Do you have an event you’d like us to share? Send an email to email@example.com and we’ll make it happen!
Critical Workplace Safety Legislation Advances in Oregon Legislature
May 8, 2023 | Oregon AFL-CIO
“Today, members of the Oregon State House Committee on Business and Labor voted to advance Senate Bill 592, a critical workplace safety bill that will make work safer for Oregonians. Senate Bill 592 is being considered by the House just days after Workers Memorial Day, where unions and workplace safety advocates honored the 47 Oregonians who died as a result of workplace injuries in 2022. On April 28th, Oregon’s unions held ceremonies in Portland and in Salem to raise attention to workplace fatalities, and to call on lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 592.”
St. Charles, Bend nurses face off again over claims of unsafe staffing, unfair labor practices as talks continue
May 8, 2023 | KTVZ
“As negotiations between the St. Charles Bend nurses and the hospital continue, nurses filed multiple unsafe staffing complaints against the hospital on Friday, the Oregon Nurses Association said Monday. The nurses are pressing their claims that the hospital is "severely understaffed and continues to violate Oregon’s hospital safe staffing law, creating health and safety hazards for local patients, caregivers and the community."”
Bus driver union says service shutdown in Clatsop County doesn’t add up
May 5, 2023 | FOX 12
“A union that represents bus drivers in Clatsop County says the Sunset Empire Transportation District abrupt shutdown of service last week doesn’t add up. Shirley Block is the president of ATU 757. Her union represents public transportation workers across the Pacific Northwest, including those at SETD. She said many of her members are anxious about when they will get back to work and serve their community. “To shut down transit completely, it’s unheard of,” Block said.”
Oregon bill would let workers refuse unsafe work
May 5, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press
“Hector Rojas lost his job for exercising his right to refuse unsafe work. Now, he’s asking Oregon lawmakers to pass a bill that would protect workers from similar retaliation.”
The WGA Strike Is a Fight Against Silicon Valley’s Gigification of the Entire Economy
‘May 8, 2023 | Jacobin
“If the ongoing film and TV writers strike is successful, the Writers Guild of America could establish a model for how service sector, app-based gig workers can take on Silicon Valley.”
Biden says striking writers deserve fair deal ‘as soon as possible’
May 8, 2023 | The Hill
“President Biden on Monday said he hopes the striking writers in Hollywood are given a fair deal “as soon as possible,” offering his first public comments since the union representing thousands of television and film writers went on strike last week.”
WGA members joined by other unions at meeting in show of solidarity during writers strike
May 4, 2023 | ABC7 Eyewitness News
“Bracing for a long battle against major studios as they demand better pay and job security in a rapidly changing industry, thousands of Hollywood writers gathered for a strike meeting with support from others in the industry.”
OSHA finds workplace safety violations at St. Charles emergency department
May 4, 2023 | Bend Bulletin
“Overflowing containers meant to hold needles, syringes and lancets were identified as a workplace safety hazard in the emergency department at St. Charles Bend earlier this year. Oregon Occupational Safety and Health officials cited St. Charles Health System on March 30 for the safety hazard.”
He Died Helping Build Tesla’s Gigafactory. Tesla Didn’t Tell Local Officials.
May 8, 2023 | Texas Observer
“Shocking as it seems, on-the-job fatalities like Ramirez’s are somewhat routine in Texas. The state is arguably the nation’s deadliest for workers in general and construction laborers in particular, with heat playing a significant and systemically underrecognized role in work-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths.”
Food & Commercial Workers
Grocery Store Workers Stand to Lose Over $300 Million Annually if Kroger and Albertsons Merger
May 7, 2023 | Common Dreams
“Workers’ ability to negotiate better pay and working conditions rests on their capacity to switch jobs. By decreasing the number of outside options available to workers, the merger will limit competition.”
Focus organizing drives on workers without college degrees, US unions told
May 5, 2023 | The Guardian
“Union supporters have had plenty to applaud with regard to organizing college- educated workers, notching up dozens of unionization victories involving graduate students, adjunct professors, journalists, nurses and workers at museums, nonprofits and video-game companies. But some labor supporters who laud these victories are warning that something is awry, that there isn’t nearly enough unionization of non-college-educated, lower-paid workers, whether factory workers or fast-food workers.”
Chicago REI store workers vote to join union
May 8, 2023 | Chicago Sun Times
“Workers at the Near North Side store of REI have voted to unionize, part of a nationwide push to organize at the outdoors retailer. Employees at the 905 W. Eastman St. store voted to affiliate with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The proposed bargaining unit will cover about 64 employees.”
ChatGPT is powered by these contractors making $15 an hour
May 6, 2023 | NBC News
“Savreux is part of a hidden army of contract workers who have been doing the behind-the-scenes labor of teaching AI systems how to analyze data so they can generate the kinds of text and images that have wowed the people using newly popular products like ChatGPT. To improve the accuracy of AI, he has labeled photos and made predictions about what text the apps should generate next. The pay: $15 an hour and up, with no benefits.”