January 19, 2007 Volume 108 Number 2

PDC adopts wage policy for private construction projects
The Portland Development Commission Board on Jan. 10 passed a policy that sets parameters for when prevailing wage laws will apply on private construction projects that it helps finance.
Projects receiving $1 million or more in PDC resources will require wages, fringe benefits, overtime pay and apprentice pay to mirror that of state prevailing wage rates for commercial construction, or federal Davis-Bacon Housing of Urban Development rates for residential construction.
Wyden touts universal health coverage plan at business summit
At a Jan. 4 summit of Oregon business leaders, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden presented his proposal for universal health coverage, which would relieve businesses of the burden of finding and providing coverage to workers — and eliminate union health trusts.
Freightliner building new manufacturing plant in Mexico
Freightliner LLC announced last month that it will construct a new $300 million truck manufacturing plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, in northern Mexico. At the same time it was announcing expansion in Mexico, Freightliner warned its unionized employees at Portland’s Swan Island facility of a major layoff this spring.
New Democratic majority in House gets busy passing labor bills
As promised by Democratic Party leaders, the party’s newly sworn-in majority in Congress got busy in its first 100 “legislative” hours. Democrats in the House of Representatives passed long-blocked legislation, including several bills of particular importance to organized labor.
Bend bus drivers campaign to join ATU Local 757
Three-dozen Bend, Oregon, bus drivers will vote Jan. 29 whether to unionize with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757. Shortly after the union filed for an election, the company sent employees a four-page letter outlining its opposition and urging drivers to "vote against the union and suggest you encourage others to do the same."
SEIU campaign to organize bus drivers stalls
A union campaign among school bus drivers at Gresham-Barlow School District failed to win a majority in a Jan. 5 vote. The vote was 44 for and 49 against joining Service Employees International Union Local 503.
For SEIU, the narrow loss was a setback in its “Driving Up Standards” campaign to unionize First Student, the second-largest private bus company in the United States.

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