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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
PETITION: CONFIRM JULIE SU AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: Well-heeled lobbyists and corporate special interests are spending big to block Su’s confirmation when it comes up for a committee vote in the Senate on April 20. Simply put, we can’t let that happen. Workers deserve a labor secretary who will fiercely defend us. Add your name to say you support Julie Su.
STARTING TONIGHT: 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 4, May 9, May 10, May 11 and May 15 from 5:30 - 7:00pm. RSVP for your shift by clicking here.
RALLY TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT THE PEOPLE'S POSTAL SERVICE: Stand with postal workers, letter carriers and the Oregon Labor Movement to protect the people’s postal service at a rally in Portland! Tuesday, May 9 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm at the East Portland Post Office, 1020 SE 7th Ave, Portland OR 97214. RSVP on Facebook.
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. Tuesday, May 16 at 10:00am at the State Capitol steps, 900 Court St. NE in Salem
LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY: 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.
New Podcast Episode
We’re back with a new podcast episode for you to enjoy! On this episode of The Voice of Oregon’s Workers we talk with policy experts about Senate Bill 592, the Keep Oregon Workers Safe Act. This legislation is vitally important to improving workplace safety in Oregon, and as you’ll hear on the episode will increase penalties for employers who don’t address unsafe working conditions as well as provide other critical improvements to workplace safety regulations. Advocates from PCUN - Oregon’s farmworker union, Oregon AFSCME, and the Oregon AFL-CIO discuss what dangers workers are facing on the job and how SB 592 will help increase safety in every workplace in our state.
May 3, 2023 | Deadline
“There’s no telling how long the Writers Guild of America strike will last, but as it enters its second day, guild leaders expect it to still be going by May 15, when they’re planning to stage massive rallies on both coasts. The last writers strike, in 2007-08 lasted 100 days, and the one before that, in 1988, lasted 153 days.”
May 2, 2023 | PBS NewsHour
“Television and movie writers declared late Monday that they will launch a strike for the first time in 15 years, as Hollywood girded for a walkout with potentially widespread ramifications in a fight over fair pay in the streaming era.”
May 1, 2023 | The American Prospect
“While employers illegally suppress blue-collar, retail and service workers, professionals and proto-professionals are unionizing in droves.”
May 1, 2023 | Jacobin
“This May Day, don’t hang your head for the labor movement’s defeat. US unions are weak, it’s true. But there’s more excitement, more of a spirit of militancy and experimentation, and more hope in today’s labor movement than there has been in a long time.”
May 1, 2023 | The Nation
“A growing number of young people are joining and forming labor unions. Some call them “Generation U.” The New York Times dubbed the phenomenon the “Revolt of the College-Educated Working Class.””
A Fair & Just Economy
May 4, 2023 | AFL-CIO
“A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that union membership helps build wealth for working-class families. The report concludes that "unions are a crucial means for building wealth among the working class and reducing racial wealth gaps for workers without four-year college degrees."”
May 3, 2023 | Business Insider
“Bernie Sanders is planning to introduce a bill to raise the minimum wage to $17 an hour, reigniting his long-standing battle to hike federal pay standards as income inequality and corporate profits grow. Sanders confirmed to Insider that he will be introducing legislation to do just that on Thursday. He will be joined by workers and union leaders, including AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and SEIU International President Mary Kay, according to a media advisory. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, an amount unchanged since 2008. With rising inflation, the wage is worth less than it has been in decades.”
May 3, 2023 | The Progressive Magazine
“About one-third of the U.S. workforce—fifty-two million people—earn less than $15 an hour, according to Oxfam America. Eighty-nine percent of the workers whose annual pay is less than $31,200 are aged twenty or older, its March 2022 report found. Women and people of color are disproportionately affected by low wages. Twenty-five percent of American men earn less than $15 an hour, while 40 percent of women do. That figure is 27 percent for white workers, compared with 46 percent of Latinx workers and 47 percent of Black workers.”
May 3, 2023 | Salon
“Despite decades of progress in worker safety since the creation of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1970, there's troubling evidence of deadly backsliding particularly for the nation's Black and Latino workers, according to a comprehensive analysis from the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor federation.”
May 1, 2023 | Express
“Thousands of workers are being killed on the job each year, yet just 128 worker deaths have been criminally prosecuted under The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since 1970.”
May 1, 2023 | The Guardian
“Ten states have rolled back child labor laws recently, with a federal bill to allow teens to work in one of the most dangerous industries.”
May 2, 2023 | NPR
“Close to a third of nurses nationwide say they are likely to leave the profession for another career due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey from AMN Healthcare shows. This level is up at least seven points since 2021. And the survey found that the ongoing shortage of nurses is likely to continue for years to come.”
May 1, 2023 | Bloomberg
“The White House is probing how companies use artificial intelligence to monitor and manage workers, practices the Biden Administration says are increasingly prevalent and can inflict significant harm.”
May 2, 2023 | The Onion
“Taking short breaks from standing imposingly behind a Writers Guild of America picket line, Scabby the Rat kept quietly trying to give striking Hollywood writers a copy of his screenplay, sources confirmed Tuesday.”