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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: October 19, 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.

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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Oregon Workers on Strike

⚠️Alert: More Strikes Next Week

Next week, we expect to see UFCW Local 555 members strike at Kaiser and over 1,300 OFNHP, AFT Local 5017 members strike at PeaceHealth in SW Washington. Both unions plan to begin their strikes on Monday, October 23. Stay tuned for more information!


🤝🏻 Donate to Strike Funds & Drop Off Supplies

OFNHP and UAW Local 492 are asking for donations to their strike funds to help bolster strike efforts until a fair contract is reached.

In addition to strike fund donations, UAW Local 492 is asking for generous donations from the Oregon Labor Movement to bolster their efforts in Beaverton, where union members are picketing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They need: Hand warmers, lawn chairs, outdoor folding tables, warm drinks / hot water for overnight picketing, single serve packages of chips and snacks and individual facial tissue packs. Supplies can be brought directly to the picket line, located at 10030 SW Allen Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005.


Active Picket Lines

➡️ 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, click here for directions to the picket line.


➡️ UFCW Local 555 Strike at Kaiser

Local 555 members began an Unfair Labor Practices strike at Kaiser pharmacies on October 1st and will continue to picket until October 21st. They are picketing at the following locations daily beginning at 6:00am and ending at 7:00pm:

  • Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center Campus (map)

  • Kaiser Westside Medical Center Campus (map)

  • Kaiser Regional Lab in NE Portland (map)

  • Kaiser Airport Way Center in NE Portland (map)

➡️ UAW Stand Up Strike at the Big 3 Automakers

UAW members at the Chrysler Parts Distribution Center in Beaverton, alongside UAW locals around the country representing workers at the Big 3 automakers, have been on strike since September 22nd and will continue to hold the line until a fair contract is reached. They are picketing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Click here for directions to the picket line in Beaverton.


📍 Strike Map: Get Out There & Support Active Picket Lines!



Oregon Labor

October 19, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press

From Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor: “This year’s convention could not have come at a more opportune time for labor to strategize about how to harness the moment we’re in.”


October 18, 2023 | Axios Portland

“In Portland, labor activity picked up in May when baristas at the now-shuttered downtown Starbucks went on strike, followed by Providence nurses in June. Both unions called on management to address safety and staffing concerns.”


October 18, 2023 | The Source Weekly

From the Central Oregon Labor Chapter: “We urge the Bend-La Pine School Board to do everything within your power and authority to make sure that OSEA and BEA members get all that they deserve in their next contracts. We are counting on you to stand with the unions.”


October 16, 2023 | Graduate Teaching Fellows Fellowship (University of Oregon)

“GTFF’s goal here is to come to a deal. We believe this step is necessary to move forward in the process. We’re declaring impasse because we want UO to understand how serious we are about the demands still on the table, including our key asks on Salary (Article 22) and the International GE and Caregiver Articles. We will continue meeting with UO until we reach a deal. Meanwhile, we need all members to continue building pressure on the university to bring us a deal that reflects GE needs.”


October 13, 2023 | Corvallis Gazette-Times

“Striking Coffin Butte mechanics were joined by several union leaders, elected officials and concerned community members at a rally on Thursday, Sept. 12, in front of the Corvallis Republic Services office. Carrying placards, with an inflatable "Scabby the Rat" mascot standing guard, a small group came out in support of the seven heavy duty mechanics who have been striking since Sept. 11 at various locations around the Coffin Butte Landfill.”


October 12, 2023 | KLCC

“Seven Corvallis-based workers for the waste disposal company Republic Services have been on strike for over a month to demand safer working conditions and adequate healthcare. About two dozen union representatives, industry members, and politicians turned out Thursday morning to support the striking workers.”

PNW Strike Updates

October 19, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press

“A strike is likely and will include lab techs, service, and maintenance workers at PeaceHealth hospitals in Vancouver and Longview.”


October 19, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press

“Dentists working for Multnomah County are prepared to strike if negotiations for a second union contract lock up. AFSCME Local 88 represents 20 dentists at seven county clinics. Earlier this month, they overwhelmingly authorized a strike.”


October 19, 2023 | Northwest Labor Press

“Seven heavy equipment mechanics are now in their second month of striking a Corvallis landfill. It’s a fight that Operating Engineers Local 701 business manager James Anderson says they’re determined to win.”


October 18, 2023 | Fox 12

“Oregon’s largest school district, Portland Public Schools, could soon face a massive teacher strike after contract negotiations reached a stalemate Tuesday. A spokesperson for the union that represents PPS educators, the Portland Association of Teachers, said voting is currently underway for teachers to authorize a strike.”


October 14, 2023 | KGW

“Kaiser Permanente reached a breakthrough Friday in negotiations with 75,000 workers who staged a three-day strike across multiple states last week, but the tentative deal doesn't cover a separate group of pharmacy technicians in Oregon and Southwest Washington who have been staging their own strike for two weeks — and plan to keep it going.”


Congressional Budget Cuts

We are one month away from yet another catastrophic government shutdown. And extreme Republicans in the House can’t even manage to elect a speaker. And we know that instead of proposing a budget that supports working people, creates good jobs and protects families, some extreme Republican politicians plan to push an extreme agenda that threatens the wages, health care, education and safety of workers and our families. These extremists are threatening to shut down the government—putting our economy in peril and hundreds of thousands out of work—if they don’t get extreme cuts that could heap even more hardship on our families, just to funnel our hard-earned dollars to the wealthy, big corporations and political donors.


Strikes Beyond the PNW

October 17, 2023 | KCAL News

“SAG-AFTRA members are expected to return to the picket lines Monday to continue striking against the Hollywood Studios amid calls from union president Fran Drescher and union leaders for negotiations to resume "immediately."”


October 17, 2023 | Michigan Advance

“Casino workers took to picket lines on Tuesday outside each of Detroit’s three casinos after going on strike following months of failed negotiations for a new union contract. This is the latest labor action to hit Southeast Michigan, with thousands of United Auto Workers (UAW) on strike for over a month at Blue Cross Blue Shield, as well as General Motors, Stellantis and Ford plants.”


October 17, 2023 | The Buffalo News

“Forty workers at Milk-Bone's plant in Buffalo are on strike, after rejecting a tentative agreement. The 40 maintenance and repair workers are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 330.“


October 16, 2023 | Bay News 9

“Hotel workers took to picket lines outside the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, after labor contract negotiations stalled. According to Unite Here! Local 11 Union members, the labor contract expired back in June.”


October 13, 2023 | Time

“Income inequality is at historic highs. Tens of millions of working-class Americans can’t afford a home, medical care, or an education for their children. And we live under a political system run by the wealthy, in which average citizens hardly get a say. How do we solve these seemingly intractable problems?


The Economy

October 16, 2023 | Jacobin

“Strong unions can reduce inequality in society through various means. Most directly, through collective bargaining, they lift wages for union members and negotiate other employment benefits that stabilize incomes and secure household financial well-being for union members.”


October 16, 2023 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth

“Increasing the minimum wage has repeatedly been shown to raise the pay of low-wage workers and improve the overall economy. While the federal minimum wage remains at its 2009 level of $7.25 per hour, 30 states and dozens of cities, as well as Washington, DC, have instituted much higher wage floors.”


October 6, 2023 | National Employment Law Project

“The unemployment rate was steady at 3.8% in September according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economy gained 336,000 jobs. The unemployment rate for Black workers was 5.7%, significantly higher than the 3.4% unemployment rate for white workers. These disparities are a result of structural racism in the U.S. labor market.”


Amazon

September 26, 2023 | National Employment Law Project

“Amazon directly employs over a million people in the U.S.[i] It is now the second largest private-sector employer and the largest warehouse employer in the country.[ii] As such, Amazon has tremendous power to improve the standard of living for many in the U.S., including for the Black workers on whom it relies disproportionately for its front-line operations, and for Black women in particular, who make up the largest group of front-line workers at the company.”


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