By DON McINTOSH
Colin Staub’s last day as Labor Press staff reporter was Feb. 17. Over the 13 months he reported on the local labor movement, he was highly productive—writing 285 articles totaling over 145,000 words. Highlights included:
- A deep dive into the scandal of Amazon building its massive new Woodburn “fulfillment center” almost entirely with non-union out-of-state labor;
- Continuing coverage of the wave of unionization at Starbucks and the New Seasons grocery chain;
- A feature about what it’s like to work at Metro’s hazardous waste facility.
Staub says he greatly enjoyed the labor beat, but working mostly solo at a very small organization took a toll. He leaves on good terms, and readers may not have seen the last of him in these pages: He’s open to continuing on as a freelance contributor.
If there was one frustration, Staub says it was the sometimes difficulty of getting union officers and members to return a reporter’s calls, even at a newspaper whose mission is to chronicle the local labor movement.
Staub says he learned a lot—for example, that nonprofit employers like All Good Northwest could have a progressive mission but not extend that to how its workers were treated or compensated. “I had not seen that, and I was surprised.”
But his tenure also came at a time of awakening interest in unions.
“It was really fun watching young people learning about the labor movement,” Staub said, “and inspiring to see so many people deeply engaged.”