Democrats meet organized labor

The Democratic Party of Oregon’s Labor Caucus introduced millennials — early-20-to-mid-30-somethings — to organized labor at a four-hour gathering April 7 at the IBEW Local 48 Hall in Northeast Portland. Millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, yet many younger Democrats don’t have much exposure to organized labor.

John Knight hears about labor history from moderator Keith Edwards. Photos courtesy of Democratic Party of Oregon.

“This was an opportunity to bring together all progressives to better understand the labor movement, its history, and its challenges, and to illustrate how we all benefit when we lift up the rights and working conditions of workers,” said Labor Caucus chair Donna Nyberg.

The program featured panels of unionists talking about labor history, current issues, basic union structure, diversity and equity, apprenticeship opportunities, and training future political candidates. Speakers included retired IBEW Local 48 business manager Keith Edwards and Val Hoyle, candidate for Oregon labor commissioner.

With more than 160 registered guests, Nyberg said it was the largest caucus event Oregon has ever held. More could be coming.

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