Monthly Archives: November, 2010

Portland Public Schools $548 million bond could put trades union members to work

Portland Public Schools may ask district voters in May to approve $548 million in bonds to upgrade school buildings. Work would begin summer 2011 if voters approve the bond issue.

Free Geek employees vote to join Portland CWA Local 7901

A group of 19 workers at local non-profit Free Geek have unionized with Communications Workers of America. Free Geek prides itself on an unusual form of collective management by democratic consensus. But as the group grew, a sub-caste developed — of lower-paid employees who weren’t in the collective.

Delta flight attendants say ‘no’ to union

In votes counted Nov. 3, Delta Air Lines flight attendants chose not to be represented by Association of Flight Attendants. It was Delta flight attendants’ third unionization vote in a decade.

Labor vote makes the difference in tight Oregon races

In Oregon, organized labor’s get-out-the-vote campaign propelled Democrat John Kitzhaber to the governor’s mansion. Kitzhaber defeated political newcomer Chris Dudley by the narrowest of margins. Labor-endorsed candidates also fared quite well down the ticket.

Merkley will push for rule change to end filibuster abuse

Oregon’s freshman Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley favors reforming a parliamentary procedure known as the filibuster, in hopes that doing so will allow the Senate to get some work done.

Shop for union-made goods this holiday season — and year-round!

Buying union is about voting with your dollars to support enterprises that pay fellow workers a living wage with benefits. The AFL-CIO has designated the 10 days following Thanksgiving as Buy Union Week. To make that easier, the Labor Press has come up with 10 "Buy Union" gift ideas.

AFL-CIO Poll: Voters punished Dems, but no mandate for GOP

Though Republican victories in the 2010 elections will put the union Congressional agenda in jeopardy, labor leaders took some consolation from a pair of election night polls commissioned by the national AFL-CIO.

Transit Union pickets TriMet board meeting

Members of ATU Local 757 held an informational picket at a Nov. 10 TriMet board of directors meeting. ATU is trying to raise public awareness of a contract dispute it has with the transit agency.

Machinists host home foreclosure seminar

Labor’s Community Service Agency and Machinists District Lodge 24 sponsored a seminar Oct. 22 for people facing foreclosure on their homes. About 70 people attended.

Silver Eagle to lay off 55 Machinists

Portland-based Silver Eagle Manufacturing Co. will lay off 55 workers — members of Machinists Lodge 1005 — starting Dec. 17. Employment peaked at 134 bargaining unit members this year. The workers average $14 to $15 per hour, plus benefits.

Saturday mail delivery to continue — for now

Earlier this year, the U.S. postmaster general proposed eliminating mail delivery on Saturdays, but so far, Congress isn’t going along with it.

Transit Union 757 pushes back

TriMet board members got some heat Oct. 28 over the transit agency’s decision to impose terms on union members while it waits for an arbitrator to pick between union and management final contract offers.

Big Pipe project wraps up ahead of schedule

Rosie, the 530-ton tunnel boring machine, has finished tunneling on the East Side Big Pipe project, the largest public infrastructure project in Portland’s history. At its peak, more than 100 members of Laborers Local 320, and 150 members of Operating Engineers Local 701 worked on the project.

Fired pro-union teacher refuses two years salary to settle case

A French teacher terminated for supporting a union campaign at Portland French School turned down an offer of two years salary if she would drop her legal case and give up her right to return. In the trial that followed, a federal judge heard evidence about the termination and other labor law violations. On Oct. 26, a federal district court judge ordered the school to cease and desist further lawbreaking.

Back to work: Intel to spend nearly $4 billion to build Hillsboro fab

Microchip giant Intel’s announcement Oct. 19 that it will build a brand new development fabrication plant at its Ronler Acres Campus in Hillsboro was music to the ears of construction union officials. Intel said as many as 6,000 construction jobs will be created.

Oregon, Washington labor weigh election results

Oregon voters mostly returned labor-backed Democrats to office, bucking the national Republican tsunami in the midterm elections. But for Washington's union movement, election night was bittersweet.

Home for the holidays: There ARE union travel options

By flying unionized airlines, workers and their families can say “Union, Yes” when they travel.