April 20, 2007 Volume 108 Number 8

5,000 attend Carpenters unity rally in Portland

More than 5,000 members of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, their families, friends and allies from other Change to Win labor federation locals gathered at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland April 15 for a “Taking Care of Business” unity rally. The Northwest Carpenters Council has three agreements set to expire May 31 that cover close to 11,000 members who work as drywall hangers in Oregon and Western Washington, and general construction carpenters in Western Washington.

“We’re serious about change,” said Carpenters General President Doug McCarron. “And seeing an event like this, you can see how much this Brotherhood has changed.”

Doug Tweedy, executive secretary-treasurer of the Northwest Carpenters Council, said Carpenter wages haven’t kept pace with inflation since 1973. “These upcoming contracts will impact all our other contracts for years to come. I think our contractors understand what’s going on. We expect to get the best contracts we’ve ever had,” he said.

At the unity rally there was free food and interactive games for kids. Maurice Morris and Ronnie Harris of the Seattle Seahawks, along with several Seahawks cheerleaders, were on hand to sign autographs.

The Council also gave away two flat-screen televisions, an autographed Seahawks football, and a brand new Chevy 4X4 pickup. The truck was won by Donald Ballard, a fifth-year apprentice out of Carpenters Local 1797 in Renton, Wash.

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