Union members celebrate Labor Day


Despite smoke from wildfires burning throughout Oregon and Washington, thousands of union members and their families celebrated Labor Day with picnics, music, games, and rides.

Lines were long at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, where a crowd estimated at 12,000 turned out for a picnic sponsored by the Northwest Oregon Labor Council.

Other labor-sponsored gatherings were held in Springfield, Salem, and Ashland, Oregon, and in Castle Rock, Washington. Smoky air conditions forced the cancellation of a labor picnic in Bend, Oregon.

Among the crowd in Portland was U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley; Gov. Kate Brown; Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian; State Treasurer Tobias Read; Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum; Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler; and a host of city and county commissioners, state legislators, and numerous candidates running for local and statewide offices.

A total of 375 children participated in this year’s Scavenger Hunt at Oaks Park. Sponsored by Labor’s Community Service Agency, youngsters from 1 to 18 use clues found in a “passport” to locate various unions at the Labor Day picnic. When the kids locate the union, their passport gets stamped. Completed passports are returned to LCSA and the kids are eligible to win a bicycle. This year, 27 unions participated, including Bakers Locals 114 and 364 and Machinists District Lodge W24. LCSA issued special “thank you”s to the Northwest Oregon Labor Council and Oregon AFSCME for their partnership; International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 8 for donating all the bikes used for raffle prizes; Oregon School Employees Association for donating Fred Meyer gift cards for the older kids; Franz Bakery for donating cookies (and Bakers Local 364 for cooking them); and Hollywood Impress Printing for helping with signage and printing the passports. “Since the Scavenger Hunt started five years ago, we have educated 1,900 children and parents on the union jobs in their everyday lives and recognize them as a vital part of the fabric of the community,” said LCSA Executive Director Eryn Byram.




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