UFCW endorses Adams for Portland City Council post

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 has endorsed Sam Adams for Portland City Council.

Adams, a former aide to Mayor Vera Katz, is running for the council seat being vacated by Jim France-sconi. Francesconi is leaving the post to run for mayor. Katz is not seeking re-election.

“We were very impressed with his experience and his attitude towards labor, and his commitment to building a strong communication link with labor, both the unions representing city employees as well as the general labor community,” said Gene Pronovost, president of Local 555, the state’s largest private-sector union.

Another candidate for the open council seat, Nick Fish, has been endorsed by the two of the largest public employee unions at the city, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 189, and Municipal Employees Local 483, an affiliate of the Laborers Union.

Local 555’s Pronovost emphasized that a key factor in his decision not to endorse Fish stemmed from a campaign contribution Fish accepted in 2002 from Oregon Steel Mills.

At that time of the donation, Fish was running for an open City Council seat against Randy Leonard, a former president of Fire Fighters Local 43, and Oregon Steel-owned Rocky Mountain Steel Mills in Pueblo, Colorado, was involved in a long and bitter labor dispute with Steelworkers Locals 2102 and 3267.

“For a candidate to claim he is a labor attorney and a friend of labor, I can’t find any acceptable reason for accepting a donation, under any circumstances, from Oregon Steel Mills,” Pronovost said.

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