SW Washington CLC ends Columbian boycott; endorses city council pols


VANCOUVER — The Southwest Washington Central Labor Council has ended its boycott of the Columbian newspaper.
The daily newspaper, which covers the greater Vancouver/Southwest Washington area, was put on the boycott list in January after delegates complained of slanted coverage against unions and public employees. Delegates passed a resolution calling for a boycott starting in February and continuing through July 31, at which time the issue would be revisited to determine whether or not the newspaper had expanded its coverage “to represent all of the community.” If it did, the boycott would be withdrawn.

During that time period, the boycott expanded to the Portland-based Northwest Oregon Labor Council; the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council; as well as to many of the 39 labor organizations affiliated with the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council. Union officials asked  rank-and-file members to cancel their subscriptions and politicians not to advertise in the newspaper.

However, at the labor council’s monthly meeting in August, delegates decided that coverage had become more favorable, so the boycott was lifted.

“Not everyone was in favor of ending our action against the Columbian,” said Secretary-Treasurer Roy Jennings, a member of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757. “Some of our delegates still believe the newspaper has an anti-labor sentiment. While we can agree to disagree on many issues, we believe that at this time the Columbian has reached a turning point. Clearly the Columbian has done better in its reporting! “

The labor council has invited publisher Scott Campbell to attend its meeting Oct 27. It also posted on its web site a link directing union members how to subscribe to the newspaper.

In other action at the August meeting, the labor council issued the following political endorsements:

  • To re-elect Bart Hansen for Vancouver City Council, Position 4.  Hansen was appointed to the council in January 2010, filling the seat vacated by Tim Leavitt after he was elected mayor. He won the seat outright in a special election last year.
  • To elect Anne McEnerny-Ogle to Vancouver City Council, Position 6. The Vancouver City Council is non-partisan.
  • To re-elect Jim Irish mayor of La Center.
  • Support Proposition 1, to increase the sales tax by 0.2 percent (2 cents on a $10 purchase) to preserve C-TRAN local fixed route, limited, commuter and connector service.

The general election is Nov. 8.


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