Seven labor unions joined with 21 community organizations to form a new coalition that will advocate for universal health care in Oregon and the United States. A founding meeting was held in Portland Jan. 27.
The coalition grew out of a partnership between Health Care for All-Oregon, Portland Jobs with Justice, Mad As Hell Doctors, and Physicians for a National Health Program. Two years ago those organizations formed the Oregon Single Payer Campaign (OSPC), which last year held a conference in Portland attended by 500 people. OSPC also spearheaded the introduction of HB 3510 last year in the Legislature to create a single-payer financing system that guaranteed universal access to health care for all Oregonians.
The unions signing on to the coalition’s founding are: American Federation of Government Employees Local 2157; Communication Workers of America Local 7901; Laborers Local 483; the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 82; the National Association of Social Workers-Oregon; the Oregon Nurses Association; and Service Employees Local 49.
The coalition plans to meet again soon to elect a board of directors, develop a strategic plan, and finalize the selection of a name.