| October 5, 2007 Volume 108 Number 19
UFCW backs Merkley for SenateUnited Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555, Oregon’s largest private-sector union, has endorsed Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley’s bid for the U.S. Senate. The Democratic primary isn’t until May 2008, but campaigning has begun early in an effort to unseat Republican incumbent Gordon Smith.
Local 555 President Gene Pronovost pointed to the success of House Bill 3339 in the last session of the Oregon Legislature as an example of Merkley’s commitment to working families. That bill guarantees unemployment benefits to employees in multi-employer bargaining units who are locked-out by their employers during a labor dispute through no fault of their own.
“Without Jeff’s leadership, that bill probably would have died once again this session,” Pronovost said. “But his refusal to let big corporations run over workers means Oregon families won’t face financial ruin as a result of a lock-out.”
UFCW Local 555 represents 18,000 workers in Oregon and Southwestern Washington. Their membership is comprised of workers in retail, manufacturing, health care and other industries.
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