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.
Oregon Workers on Strike
➡️ UFCW Local 555 Strike at Kaiser
Local 555 members working at Kaiser facilities across Oregon and Southwest Washington are currently engaged in a ULP strike until November 18, 2023. Picketing is happening daily from 6:00am - 6:00pm at the following locations:
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center Campus in Clackamas (map)
Kaiser Westside Medical Center Campus in Hillsboro (map)
Kaiser Regional Lab in NE Portland (map)
Kaiser Cascade Park in Vancouver (map)
Kaiser North Lancaster in Salem (map)
➡️ IUOE Local 701 Members on Strike in Corvallis
IUOE Local 701 members employed by a Republic Services subsidiary at the Coffin Butte landfill near Corvallis have been on strike since September 11, 2023. They are picketing outside of the Coffin Butte landfill outside of Corvallis from 5:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.
➡️ Portland Association of Teachers on Strike
On November 1, 2023 the Portland Association of Teachers went on strike for the first time in district history following ten months of fighting at the bargaining table for a fair contract. Here’s how you can get involved:
PAT members are picketing at all Portland Public Schools in the city from 7:45am - 10:15am daily.
The Strike Map can be found at www.oraflcio.org/strikemap and has been updated to reflect the tentative agreement won by AFSCME Local 1422 members in Yamhill County.
📖 University of Oregon Labor Center Collective Bargaining Institute
December 3-8, University Place Hotel, Portland Oregon
Want to be ready for your next round of bargaining? Join union leaders from around the state at the Labor Education and Research Center's Collective Bargaining Institute. In this hands-on program, participants learn all the fundamentals of effective negotiations -- from drafting proposals and contract costing, to managing the bargaining team and finding a settlement. Scholarships are available! Click here for more details and to register online.
Unionized workers at MSNBC have been bargaining their first contract for nearly two years, but the company’s management has so far refused to agree to livable wages and fair pay for performing extra work.
Workers Winning: Tentative Agreements
November 8, 2023 | Oregon AFSCME
“Yamhill County workers represented by the Yamhill County Employees Association/AFSCME Local 1422, ended their five day strike after a 12 hour day of mediation, reaching a three-year tentative agreement with Yamhill County. Next, members of Local 1422 will vote to ratify the contract. “The level of solidarity workers showed throughout the bargaining process was instrumental in making this strike successful,” said Michelle Mendoza, President of YCEA/AFSCME Local 1422.”
November 8, 2023 | Yamhill News-Register
“Yamhill County and the Yamhill County Employee Association reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract late on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 7. The two sides continued to mediate earlier in the day, and the Board of Commissioners held an executive session Tuesday afternoon to discuss labor negotiations. County Administrator/Budget Officer Ken Huffer confirmed the two sides had come to the agreement, but added the contract must still be ratified by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) Local 1422 and the commissioners.”
November 8, 2023 | SAG-AFTRA
“In a contract valued at over one billion dollars, we have achieved a deal of extraordinary scope that includes "above-pattern" minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI, and for the first time establishes a streaming participation bonus. Our Pension & Health caps have been substantially raised, which will bring much needed value to our plans. In addition, the deal includes numerous improvements for multiple categories including outsize compensation increases for background performers, and critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities.”
November 8, 2023 | Los Angeles Times
“SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee has approved a tentative deal with the major studios that would end a nearly four-month-long strike that has sidelined thousands of workers and hobbled much of Los Angeles’ signature entertainment industry. The unanimous vote came Wednesday after a tense week. SAG-AFTRA leaders worked feverishly for days to improve terms of the proposed labor contract offered by the media companies, which bargain through the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The union said the 118-day strike would officially end at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.”
November 8, 2023 | The New York Times
“Unions representing hospitality workers in Las Vegas reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday with one of the city’s three major resort operators, two days before a strike deadline that loomed just as tourists arrive for a major sporting event. Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, which are affiliates of UNITE HERE, announced the tentative agreement on a five-year contract with Caesars Entertainment. Negotiations with MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts are continuing.”
November 8, 2023 | CNBC
“A strike is off the table for nearly 10,000 Caesars Entertainment union workers on the Las Vegas strip. The Culinary Union said it took 20 straight hours of negotiations to produce a tentative deal for a new five-year contract, two days before a deadline for a walkout.”
November 9, 2023 | Bloomberg
“President Joe Biden threw his support behind the United Auto Workers’ efforts to unionize employees at Tesla Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp. in the wake of the labor group’s historic contract with Detroit’s Big Three automakers.”
November 8, 2023 | The Messenger Business
“Undergraduate student workers at campuses across the U.S. are getting in on the wave of labor movements that have swept across the country. Late last month, Harvard’s non-academic student workers voted overwhelmingly to unionize workers across the university’s cafes, libraries and offices. Student workers at the University of Oregon also voted to unionize the same day, creating a “wall-to-wall” union that represents all student employees of the university.:
November 7, 2023 | The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Resident assistants (RAs) at Swarthmore College are trying to organize, and they submitted a petition to president Valerie Smith on Monday asking for voluntary recognition of their union. The college has 56 RAs, and 93% of them signed the petition, according to Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153, the union they’re looking to join. They would be the first unionized workers at Swarthmore in the college’s history, according to the union.”
November 7, 2023
“The group, from Google contractor Accenture, filed for unionization efforts in June after claiming Google asked them to help train the generative AI answers offered in Search and Bard, and that they felt underprepared for their work. The tasks included handling “obscene and graphic” content, according to Bloomberg reports. Following the filing for unionization, the group, which included 120 writers, graphic designers and coordinators, among others, were told more than half the team would be laid off, according to the Alphabet Workers Union, which alleged the layoffs were an act of retaliation. The Alphabet Workers Union teamed up with the Communications Workers of America in 2021 as a minority union.”
November 6, 2023 | Los Angeles Times
“Actors’ Equity Assn., the national union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers working in live theater, and the Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, on Monday announced a settlement agreement following last year’s organizing effort of the nonunion touring company of “Waitress.””
November 7, 2023 | Detroit Free Press
“It’s not complicated. Fain was saying to corporate, on behalf of the membership, “Hey, you guys seem to be doing OK, right? Seems to me you’re doing OK largely because of the work my guys are doing. Only my guys are not doing OK. So I think we need to fix this. Because with the money you’re making, we should all be doing OK.”
November 9, 2023 | Detroit Free Press
“Pumped up paychecks and a $5,000 pre-tax bonus would hit checking accounts of UAW members at the Detroit Three shortly after union members approve the tentative agreements in the next few weeks.”
November 6, 2023 | The Seattle Times
“Boeing’s contract with the Machinists who build the jets in the Renton and Everett assembly plants runs out in 10 months. The union leadership is preparing now for a high-stakes confrontation — with a careful eye on the successful tactics of the autoworkers union in Detroit. For two decades, Boeing has repeatedly wielded threats to send work out of state that have forced concessions and weakened the historically powerful International Association of Machinists.”
Workplace Safety & Health
November 7, 2023 | The Guardian
“But, workers and labor experts say, short-staffing in the crucial US industry has persisted after the pandemic, with grave impacts on patient care and residents’ wellbeing, and spiraling burnout that has become pervasive in the care industry. More than 50 unions, worker groups and organizations signed on to a letter in support of federal minimum staffing levels in nursing homes, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the AFL-CIO and MomsRising.”
October 24, 2023 | Medpage Today
Healthcare workers reported increasing numbers of poor mental health days and increasing feelings of burnout from 2018 to 2022, although these issues were less common among those who trusted management and had help from their supervisor, a CDC study found.
The Building Trades
The Gander | November 6, 2023
“During my years in the construction industry, I’ve seen demand come and go. But with the influx of infrastructure and clean energy funding coming into Michigan from the Biden administration, there is currently a huge demand for skilled laborers – and that looks set to keep growing.”
November 9, 2023 | The Hill
“President Biden on Thursday used a major labor agreement between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Big Three auto companies to hammer former President Trump for his record on jobs and support for union workers.”
November 9, 2023 | Oregon Center for Public Policy
“Perhaps the biggest danger from rising economic inequality is what it’s doing to our bodies, to our health. Economic inequality is killing us. Literally. In this episode of Policy for the People, we hear from Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, author of the book Inequality Kills Us All. A former emergency room physician, Stephen is currently an Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health.”
November 9, 2023 | AFL-CIO
“Statement from Will Attig, executive director of Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO, on Atlantic City Electric’s proposal to strip Veterans Day as a paid holiday from its workers, many of whom are members of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 210: As a veteran, it's absolutely outrageous to see a proposal from Atlantic City Electric, a unit of Exelon Corp., stripping Veterans Day as a paid holiday for our fellow veterans, members of IBEW Local 210. Veterans deserve respect and dignity on the job after serving our country with honor and protecting the freedoms we all hold dear. Let’s be clear: This offensive proposal is a slap in the face to veterans and all workers”
November 8, 2023 | WBUR
“Massachusetts' largest federation of unions has a new president. Chrissy Lynch takes the helm of the state AFL-CIO during a big moment for labor. She's also the first woman to head the organization. Lynch joined WBUR's Morning Edition host Rupa Shenoy to talk more about this.”