March 1, 2024 issue

FTC sues to stop Kroger-Albertsons merger

In court filings the antitrust agency says letting the two giants join would harm union grocery workers in particular.

The Strike Returns

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bloomberg agree: 2023 was the biggest strike year in decades.  

Biden cabinet official drops by UA Local 290

U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su visited Oregon for a whirlwind two-day tour of training programs Feb. 22-23.

Starbucks says it wants labor peace

After two years of organizing and strikes by baristas, Starbucks announced Feb. 27 that it wants a reset with Starbucks Workers United.

Michigan repeals right-to-work law

It’s the first time a state has ever reversed a right-to-work law, and the repeal leaves 27 right-to-work states.

Doing it for ourselves

A union pilot project called Crew Bunny connects underemployed film crew members to do odd jobs, for each other.

Low-paid library workers fed up in Vancouver

They make $16.28 an hour. The director makes $195,000. Library workers mob the board to say it’s time for a raise.

Home care nurse strike ends without deal

PeaceHealth hired strikebreakers to temporarily replace home health and hospice nurses during the strike.

Trades workers ratify contract at Home Forward

The three-year contract covers 56 trades workers. It raises starting pay $9 an hour on average and adds new safety provisions. 

Pipefitters stay non-union

Workers at HIS Innovations Group make $3 to $9 an hour below equivalent union members, but rejected unionization in a 4-5 vote on Feb. 22. 

Portland Sign Co. signs first union contract

Portland Sign Co. became the second company to sign a union contract with IBEW Local 48, and a third may be close behind.

Strike Stories

2023 was the biggest strike year in decades. We asked readers who struck last year to tell what it was like.

Reality Check

Labor professor Gordon Lafer can be relied on to tell it straight. Was there something different about the strike upsurge of 2023? We asked.

Paul Elder takes office as UA 290 business manager after election challenge denied

In his first week as business manager, Elder hired seven new staff, filling a vacancy and replacing six others he let go.

Oregon AFSCME leader joins national leadership

Corey Hope Nicholson will represent AFSCME’s six-state Northwest Region as vice president on the union’s national executive board.

FMCS adds two mediators in Portland office

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service’s Portland office is fully staffed for the first time in almost two years.

AFSCME gets $5 million to seed retirement accounts for about 1,100 child care providers

The funds are deposited in OregonSaves, a state-sponsored retirement account for workers who don’t otherwise have a retirement plan.