News briefs

Oregon AFL-CIO hires Fire Fighter to help with organizing

Tom Chamberlain, former president of Portland Fire Fighters Local 43, has been hired to a part-time position as organizing coordinator for the Oregon AFL-CIO.

Chamberlain was defeated as president of Local 43 by Jack Finders in an election held last month.

Chamberlain will work three days a week out of the Salem office.

At last year’s state federation convention, delegates passed a resolution adopting an “Organizing Assistance Plan,” which calls on the Oregon AFL-CIO to help groups of unions that want to work together to build strategies for organizing on a sectoral basis and to help build community understanding of worker struggles, among others items.

Chamberlain can be reached at the Oregon AFL-CIO office at 503-224-3169 or in Salem at 503-585-6320.


Darigold products added to AFL-CIO national Boycott List

Butter, milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and novelty products from the Darigold Co. have been added to the AFL-CIO boycott list at the request of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Darigold, a subsidiary of West Farms Food in Seattle, operates plants in Seattle, Issaquah, Chehalis and Lynden, Washington; in Los Angeles and San Jose, California; Boise, Idaho, and in Portland and Medford, Oregon.

Although most of its consumer products are sold in the West, Darigold also has contracts to supply dairy products to major military installations in the Seattle area, including McCord Air Force Base, Ft. Lewis and the Bremerton Navy Base.

Darigold fired 14 warehouse employees and outsourced the jobs of 60 union drivers when its contract with Teamsters Local 66 expired at the end of July 2003. The day before Labor Day 2003, only hours after the unit overwhelmingly rejected the company’s “last best and final offer” (which also happened to be Darigold’s first offer) the company locked out its Teamster-represented production workers in Seattle and Issaquah.

“We have had a relationship which goes back more than 60 years with this company. Things have gone downhill since the late 1990s when they brought in a new management team that definitely wants us out,” said Mark Jones, secretary-treasurer of Local 66.

The Teamsters set up picket lines at the company’s locations, but Jones said the most effective actions

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