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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: May 2, 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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Upcoming Actions & Events

CPWU Postal Protest - We Won’t Be Silenced! Stop the Cuts and Mail Delay!

Thursday May 9, 2024 at 12:00PM to 1:00PM | East Portland Post Office, 1020 SE 7th Ave in Portland

The Postal Board of Governors has cut out public comment (at their May 9th meeting in DC) and the Postmaster General is refusing requests for information from the Postal Regulatory Commission.


Blues Carnaval: Rhythm and Rio Benefit for Health Care for All Oregon

Friday May 10 at 8:00PM to 11:00PM | Aladdin Theater in Portland

Health Care for All Oregon (HCAO) is pleased to announce their annual fundraising Blues event where Rhythm and Blues meet the Brazilian beat! Award Winning Blues icon, Norman “Boogie Cat” Sylvester brings his Louisiana influenced showcase, featuring; Tevis Hodge Jr., Lenanne Miller, Chuk Barber, Ms. Vee, Renato Caranto and Peter Moss then the high energy troupe of Bloco Alegria take over the theater with a full energy Music & Dance Carnaval party! General Admission $30.00


NALC Branch 82 32nd Annual MDA Labor Bowl

Sunday May 19, 2024 at 9:30AM to 12:30PM | Kingpins, 3550 SE 92nd in Portland

Theme: Superheroes! There will be prizes for top fundraiser, top men's and women's total score, lowest total score and best superhero costume. Food: Pizza and sodas. All are welcome. Contact Branch 82 to join a team or submit your team of five. Call Branch 82 to pre-register (503)493-5903 or pay at the door. Bring donations for a silent auction from 10AM to 12PM. Cost: $60.00 minimum per bowler (with a goal of each bowler raising $100.00)


Labor 2024 Events

Find more Labor 2024 events and volunteer opportunities on our solidarity calendar


Canvass for Willy Chotzen for HD 46 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General

Saturday May 4, 2024 at 10:00AM to 1:00PM | Meet at the Oregon Labor Center in Portland

Saturday May 19, 2024 at 10:00AM to 1:00PM | Meet at the Oregon Labor Center in Portland

Join Oregon Labor at a canvass for Willy Chotzen for State Representative in HD 46 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General. Coffee, lunch and training provided. 


Canvass for Farrah Chaichi for HD 35 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General

Saturday May 4, 2024 at 11:00AM to 2:00PM | Meet at the Oregon Labor Center in Portland

Join Oregon Labor at a canvass for Farrah Chaichi for State Representative in HD 35 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General. Coffee, lunch and training provided. 


Phonebank for Lisa Fragala for HD 8 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General

Monday May 6, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Join Oregon Labor at a phonebank for Lisa Fragala for State Representative in HD 8 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General. Sign up to volunteer.


Phonebank for Willy Chotzen for HD 46 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General

Tuesday May 7, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Monday May 13, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Join Oregon Labor at a phonebank for Willy Chotzen for State Representative in HD 46 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General. Sign up to volunteer.


Canvass for Lisa Fragala for HD 8 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General

Saturday May 11, 2024 at 10:00AM to 1:00PM | Meet at Oregon AFSCME Council 75 in Eugene

Join Oregon Labor at a canvass for Lisa Fragala for State Representative in HD 8 and Dan Rayfield for Attorney General. Coffee, lunch and training provided. Sign up to volunteer.


Phonebank for Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner and Anthony Broadman for State Senate

Wednesday May 15, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Join Oregon Labor at a phonebank for Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner and Anthony Broadman for State Senate. Sign up to volunteer.


Canvass for Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner and Anthony Broadman for State Senate

Saturday May 18, 2024 at 10:00AM to 1:00PM | Meet at SEIU 503 Bend Office in Bend.

Join Oregon Labor at a canvass for Phil Chang for Deschutes County Commissioner and Anthony Broadman for State Senate. Coffee, lunch and training provided. Sign up to volunteer.


Phonebank to Get Out the Vote!

Monday May 19, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Monday May 20, 2024 at 5:30PM to 7:30PM | Zoom

Join Oregon Labor at our last phonebanks to Get Out the Vote before the May 21st primary deadline!  Sign up to volunteer.


 

Must Read 

May 1, 2024 | Bloomberg News

“Unionized workers in the U.S. saw record raises, while nonunion workers’ pay barely beat inflation over the past 12 months, the latest government data show. Wages of private sector union workers rose 6.3% in the year ended in March, the largest increase in data back to 2001, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics employment cost figures released Tuesday. Meanwhile, nonunion workers in the private sector saw a 4.1% bump in their salaries over the past 12 months, not much higher than inflation. Union leaders have led strikes against firms to push for more cost-of-living increases. Last week, a last-minute wage agreement was reached with Daimler Truck Holding AG in three southern U.S. states to avert a strike. The accord includes pay increases of more than 25% over the next four years."


Pacific Northwest Labor

May 2, 2024 | Seattle Times

Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy made comments to the media in 2022 that violated federal labor law, a U.S. National Labor Relations Board judge ruled Wednesday. Remarks that Jassy made to reporters about the downsides of unionization told “employees that, if they selected a union, they would become less empowered and would find it harder to get things done quickly,” NLRB administrative law judge Brian Gee wrote. Gee cited various comments Jassy made, including telling CNBC that making workplace improvements is “much slower” with a union and saying at a New York Times conference that employees without a union are “better off” because “it’s not bureaucratic.”


May 1, 2024 | The Stand

“More than 100 striking IBEW 46 Limited Energy (LE) Electricians and their supporters gathered Tuesday at Gas Works Park for a Solidarity Rally to send a message to the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) that they will stay out “One Day Longer, One Day Stronger” until they get a contract that improves their quality of life. Contract negotiations are scheduled to resume today.”


April 30, 2024 | The Stand

“Nearly 200 Boeing fire fighters and their supporters conducted informational pickets outside company gates Monday in Renton and Everett. The more than 120 fire fighters who protect Boeing employees and facilities in Washington state — members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local I-66 — are struggling to get a fair contract from the Arlington, Virginia-based company.”


April 30, 2024 | Oregon Center for Public Policy

“Mirroring national trends, labor activity in Oregon has intensified in recent years. This includes a range of collective efforts such as bargaining for workplace contracts, refusing unsafe work conditions, striking, and taking steps toward forming a union, like filing for union recognition. Despite the surging activism by workers and interest in forming unions, the share of workers belonging to unions has not increased — a reflection of both the rapid growth in non-union jobs and the continuing obstacles that workers face when seeking to form a union.”


April 29, 2024 | Fox12 News

“Over 2000 biomedical research workers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) submitted union authorization cards with the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB) on Friday. Workers cited job security and OHSU’s long-term plans for supporting research as reasons for the filing. Eligible workers who signed cards ranged from scientists to clerical staff and software/analytical tool makers.”


April 25, 2024 | Willamette Week

“This morning, eight Multnomah County corrections nurses hand-delivered a letter to county commissioners demanding the firing of their boss, Corrections Health director Myque Obiero. It follows an overwhelming vote of “no confidence” by their union, which passed overwhelmingly in February with 97% of corrections nurses in support.”


International Workers Day

May 1, 2024 |The Stand

“Around the world, workers’ lives, livelihoods and rights are under attack. Climate disasters and conflicts are displacing people from their homes, and are increasing risks for working people and all our families. In the face of those challenges, we stand united in our fight for justice for all workers at home and abroad. Immigrants and refugees have always helped to build, feed and care for our nation, and we will not allow them to be treated as a second class of exploitable workers. The AFL-CIO is calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take action today to help tear down barriers to worker organizing and empowerment, so that all working people in our country can live and work safely and with dignity.”


May 1, 2024 |AP

“Workers, activists and others across Europe and Asia took to the streets on Wednesday to mark May Day with protests over rising prices and government labor policies and calls for greater labor rights. May Day, which falls on May 1, is observed in many countries to celebrate workers’ rights. May Day events have also given many an opportunity to air general economic grievances or political demands.”


April 29, 2024 | Reuters

“Unionized hotel workers demanding significant pay raises will rally on May Day in 18 U.S. and Canadian cities, as talks are beginning with operators Marriott International (MAR.O), opens new tab, Hilton Worldwide Holdings (HLT.N), opens new tab and Hyatt Hotels Corp (H.N), opens new tab. Talks will cover about 40,000 workers who look to secure new contracts for the first time since the pandemic. Workers want to reverse pandemic-era staffing and service cuts, as well as duplicate the big pay hikes that organized workers across the nation have been winning in the recent years."


Workplace Safety

May 1, 2024 |Safety + Health Magazine

“The Environmental Protection Agency will ban most industrial and commercial uses of the carcinogenic chemical methylene chloride, under a final rule announced April 30. A solvent widely used in bathtub refinishing, as well as in paint strippers, cleaners, adhesives and sealants, methylene chloride has contributed to the deaths of 88 workers since 1980, EPA says. Most of the cases stemmed from exposure during home renovation contracting. In some instances, the workers were fully equipped with personal protective equipment.”


April 30, 2024 | CBS News

“Unionized hotel workers demanding significant pay raises will rally on May Day in 18 U.S. and Canadian cities, as talks are beginning with operators Marriott International (MAR.O), opens new tab, Hilton Worldwide Holdings (HLT.N), opens new tab and Hyatt Hotels Corp (H.N), opens new tab. Talks will cover about 40,000 workers who look to secure new contracts for the first time since the pandemic. Workers want to reverse pandemic-era staffing and service cuts, as well as duplicate the big pay hikes that organized workers across the nation have been winning in the recent years."


April 28, 2024 | Baltimore Sun

“Sunday was Workers Memorial Day, an annual day of remembrance for laborers killed or hurt on the job, started in 1989 by the AFL-CIO. Thousands of workers nationwide are estimated by the organization of labor unions to be injured or killed on the job each day, and the issue became front and center in Baltimore on March 26 after the six men, all employees of Brawner Builders, died while working an overnight shift filling potholes on the bridge that was struck by a cargo ship early that morning."


April 25, 2024 | NBC News

“The alarming disparities in workplace fatalities among workers of color are unacceptable, symptomatic of deeply ingrained racial inequity and the need to pay increased attention to the dangerous industries that treat workers as disposable,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said in a statement."


Labor Law and Policy

May 1, 2024 |  Economic Policy Institute

“The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during the Biden administration has supported workers’ rights to form unions and engage in collective bargaining, standing in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s anti-worker record.”


April 30, 2024 | Reuters

“Now, more than six years later, there is little evidence that the law’s costly corporate tax cuts delivered promised growth or improved well-being for the vast majority of the nation’s workforce. Instead, the law provided the largest tax cuts to the wealthy and profitable corporations, exacerbated inequality, and eroded revenues that could otherwise have been used to address national priorities.”


April 29, 2024 | People’s World

“Union leaders cheered—and corporate-backed congressional Republicans slammed—three new Biden administration decisions to help workers and consumers. With deadlines for announcing new federal rules looming, the Labor Department issued two. One orders investment managers for pension plans to put recipients, not themselves, as the top priority. The other raises to $58,656 annually on January 1 the amount of money a worker can earn before becoming ineligible for overtime pay. “Expansion of the federal overtime rule will help millions more workers earn the pay they deserve,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “Some public service workers–including those in child welfare, mental health and substance abuse counseling–have been ineligible for overtime pay despite modest wages and the long hours they put in at essential jobs,” he explained.”


April 26, 2024 | Economic Policy Institute

“Last Friday, the United Auto Workers (UAW) scored a historic win in the South after a decade-long campaign to organize a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee. The UAW is hoping momentum from the Volkswagen vote as well as last year’s successful strike at the “Big Three” automakers will help them win representation at a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama next month. Meanwhile, this week the Biden administration announced four long-awaited protections for workers that have been EPI policy priorities.”


Organizing

April 30, 2024 | HuffPost

“Federal officials have officially certified the United Auto Workers’ recent election victory at Volkswagen of America’s Tennessee plant, making the facility the first unionized, foreign-owned auto plant in the South. The UAW and the German-owned company said Tuesday that they were “jointly committed to a strong and successful future” at the SUV plant in Chattanooga. “Both sides are now focused on collective bargaining and entering negotiations in the spirit of working together to reach a fair agreement and build world-class automobiles together,” they said in a joint statement.”


April 26, 2024 | WABE

“Pro-business state leadership and federal tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act have allowed Georgia to lure automakers, including EV manufacturers, to the state. The move has highlighted a lack of union representation in the state in an industry with a long history of labor ties. After a win in Tennessee, United Auto Workers will move on to Alabama next month, where they will continue pushing to organize thousands of nonunion employees in the South, including Georgia. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s battery plants, Hyundai, or whatever. The workers are fired up, fed up, and tired of low wages and lack of health care benefits,” said Tim Smith, the UAW Region 8 Director, which includes Georgia.”


Collective Bargaining

April 29, 2024 | The Hollywood Reporter

“On Monday, Hollywood’s top crew union re-enters what may prove to be the most onerous stage of its 2024 contract negotiations with studios and streamers. Thirteen of IATSE‘s West Coast Locals, representing an array of crafts workers from costumer designers to prop masters to editors, are resuming their general negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (which bargains on behalf of major Hollywood companies). And as this tricky period of talks begins, touching on hot-button topics like compensation and AI, the West Coast Locals on Monday released their major proposals for management to members.”


April 29, 2024 | Fashionista

“Just days after handing out flyers that read "Anna wears Prada/Workers get nada" during a demonstration in Anna Wintour's New York City neighborhood, unionized Condé Nast employees have declared they are "ready to walk off the job." Condé Union and NewsGuild of New York delivered a video announcement to management members Monday threatening to strike if the publisher doesn't move forward with negotiating a fair contract. The Guild describes the move as "a kick off to what promises to be a week of union actions," per a press release.”


April 29, 2024 | WHDH

“President Joe Biden praised the United Auto Workers and Daimler Truck for reaching a tentative in the eleventh hour Friday night, preventing a potential strike affecting 7,300 workers. “This agreement is a testament to the power of collective bargaining and shows that we can build a clean energy economy with strong, middle-class union jobs,” Biden said in a statement Sunday.The “record contract” includes raises of more than 25% over the next four years, inflation protections like cost-of-living considerations, and the first profit-sharing deal in Daimler history, UAW President Shawn Fain said Friday night on Facebook Live. Daimler is a major manufacturer of trucks and buses, responsible for producing Thomas Built buses, one of the most popular brands of school buses in the United States.”


Commentary

April 30, 2024 | People’s World

“Thinking about movements coming together in the same room today made me think of Dr. King and what he said,” remarked AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond, the highest-ranking African-American leader in the labor movement. “During his days, a term like environmental justice didn’t really exist, but he understood how interconnected these challenges were. Structural racism, economic injustice, and underinvestment in Black and brown communities. He told us in 1967 that the cities were gasping in polluted air and enduring contaminated water. What’s equally important is that he knew the solution, how important it was to stand together in solidarity. Organized labor can be one of the most powerful interests to do away with this evil that confronts our nation that we refer to as discrimination. “That’s the unique thing about this,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler agreed. “It’s the urgency of the crisis. Many of you know I grew up in Portland, Oregon. When I was a kid in the summer the temperatures were around the 70s and 80s, nobody had air conditioning. Maybe we’d get into the 90s once in a while, but that was a rare day. Fast forward to today, and things have changed. Now it’s not unusual to have temperatures in the 100s for weeks at a time.”

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