The Oregon Labor Dispatch: May 18, 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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➡️LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY: 2023 OREGON LABOR ORGANIZING SUMMIT May 24 at IBEW Local 48 in Portland - Registration Required Registration is filling up for the exciting event: Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind summit 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.
✊ RALLY AT THE STATE CAPITOL
June 8 at the Oregon State Capitol Building - 12:00 - 2:00pm
Join SEIU Local 503 at the State Capitol to rally on June 8th to fight for real wage increases, workplace safety, manageable workloads, and to end the state workforce crisis! Gather to show support for the Local 503 bargaining team and demand the State funds our contract and the Department of Administrative Services support their workforce. Click here to register for the rally.
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!
⚠️ END THE WALKOUT & PASS AN EQUITABLE STATE BUDGET State lawmakers just learned there is $1.9 billion more revenue than expected for our State’s budget. That means there is more money than ever available to invest in our communities. It is time for the legislature to invest in the things Oregonians need to have a fair shot: housing, child care, health care, schools, wildfire and drought relief, access to food, a strong public workforce, and more. Unfortunately, thirteen Senators are blocking policies they don’t like by walking off the job and preventing the legislature from functioning. Our policies and budgets can’t pass until all the lawmakers who are skipping work show up! Enough is enough. The stakes are too high for our communities. They must come back to work.
✔️CONFIRM JULIE SU America’s working families need Julie Su at the Department of Labor as our Secretary of Labor. We are ALL IN to fight for her throughout this confirmation process. Click here to take action and call your Senators.
Legislation to Improve Workplace Safety Passes State Legislature, Heads to Governor Kotek’s Desk
May 15, 2023 | Oregon AFL-CIO
“Senate Bill 592A to improve the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) enforcement and investigation tools passed the Oregon State House today in a bipartisan 35 to 23 vote and now moves on to the Governor to be signed into law.”
Oregon lawmakers approve stiffer penalties for businesses that violate workplace safety rules
May 17, 2023 | The Oregonian
“Oregon lawmakers on Monday approved a bill that would significantly increase the penalties businesses face when they violate workplace safety rules, bringing the state in line with federal standards. The Oregon House passed Senate Bill 592A 35-23 on a mostly party-line vote, sending it Gov. Tina Kotek’s desk for final approval. The bill would go into effect immediately after the governor signs it. Rep. Kevin Mannix of Salem was the only Republican who voted in favor of the bill.”
Lawmakers end Oregon’s lowest-in-nation OSHA penalties
May 17, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press
“A bill to enact tougher penalties for workplace safety violations is on its way to Oregon Governor Tina Kotek’s desk after a bit of committee room drama and a failed Republican attempt to gut a key feature of the bill.”
The Movement to Meet the Moment
May 17, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press
From Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor: “I can’t think of a more exciting time to be a part of the struggle for economic and social justice. You don’t have to look very far to find a headline about an inspirational organizing campaign or a group of workers striking for fairness.”
Painters win $9.66 over three years in new contract
May 17, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press
“For the second time in a row, Painters Local 10 obtained a contract with historic pay raises for members in the Portland metro area. On May 4, union members approved an agreement with Oregon Signatory Painting Contractors Organization (SPCO) that raises total compensation $9.66 over three years. Painters District Council 5 representative Scott Oldham said that’s the largest pay bump the local has ever seen.”
Oregon nurses union on a winning streak
May 8, 2023 | American Federation of Teachers
“The Oregon Nurses Association added three new bargaining units within the Providence Health System this spring. The elections added 215 new members, including registered nurses, physical therapists, social workers, doctors and nurse practitioners. Providence is one of the largest health systems in the U.S., and it is the state's largest healthcare provider and one of its largest companies.”
James Holbrook: Protect our fight for a fair deal; confirm Julie Su as secretary of labor
May 16, 2023 | Helena Independent Record
“Workers across our state are fighting for better contracts, fair pay and safer working conditions every day. We need elected officials and those appointed by President Biden to protect our freedom to fight for what we’ve earned.”
Sanders Unveils Bill Guaranteeing Up to 7 Days of Paid Sick Leave for US Workers
May 17, 2023 | Truthout
“On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) introduced a bill that would, for the first time, guarantee paid sick leave for workers across the U.S. and end the country’s streak as the only wealthy nation on earth that doesn’t ensure that its workers can take off work when they’re sick.”
A Great Week for American Labor
May 16, 2023 | The American Prospect
“Two signal union victories last week suggest that, against all odds, the American labor movement may have a future. The first confirmed a new trend in worker organizing; the second could mean that the government has finally found a way to help workers to join a union.”
LA strip club dancers vote to unionize: 'Finally... a seat at the table'
May 17, 2023 | USA Today
“In what could define live entertainment history, 15 months after attempting to unionize, dancers at a Los Angeles gentlemen's club are one step closer to becoming the first group of strippers to form a union in America. During a settlement hearing with union club attorneys, lawyers representing management of the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood agreed to withdraw election challenges and recognize the union, the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), an established labor union announced Tuesday.”
Steelworkers win vote at Blue Bird bus plant in Georgia
May 16, 2023 | People’s World
“In a big win for the Steelworkers and a big break in the normally union-hostile South, workers at the Blue Bird school bus company plant in rural Fort Valley, Ga., voted for the union on May 12, 697-435. The bargaining unit would cover 1,350 workers, the National Labor Relations Board reports. Total employment at the plant is 2,400.”
SAG-AFTRA calls for strike authorization vote ahead of studio talks
May 17, 2023 | NBC News
“SAG-AFTRA announced Wednesday that it will hold a strike authorization vote as it seeks to get its “ducks in a row” ahead of June 7 negotiations with the major studios. The vote does not mean that the performers union will necessarily join the Writers Guild of America on the picket lines after its contract expires on June 30. In a press release, the union said its negotiating committee decided that a strike authorization would provide “maximum bargaining leverage” for the talks.”
So you want to go on strike? Philadelphia’s union council is teaching workers how.
May 15, 2023 | The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Work stoppages by labor unions are having a moment. Several high-profile strikes have taken place locally in less than a year, including Temple University graduate student workers, Philadelphia Museum of Art staff, Rutgers University faculty, and Teamsters at the Liberty Coca-Cola distribution center.”
The Future of Work
Labor unions’ fight against AI is nothing new
May 10, 2023 | Marketplace
“Disruptive technology is at the heart of the contentious negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and studios, networks and streaming services. Last week, those negotiations failed and the screenwriters went on strike. At issue is how writers get paid for streaming content and the role of artificial intelligence in the creative process.”
The Young Miners Dying of “An Old Man’s Disease”
May 17, 2023 | In These Times
“Across Central Appalachia — and specifically Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia — coal miners are struggling to breathe. Many of them aren’t much older than Moore — and many are much younger. Journalist Howard Berkes investigated the spike in a series for NPR in 2012, and multiple studies before and after have shown black lung (known more formally as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or CWP) has been on the rise for the past decade.”