October 20, 2006 Volume 107 Number 20

Labor says Kulongoski
best bet for working people

Following a relatively quiet primary, labor unions have stepped up the pace to re-elect Ted Kulongoski as governor of Oregon.

[Left, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski shakes hands with retired Machinist Max Loucks during a campaign fundraiser at the Longshore Union hall in Northwest Portland.]

Oregon AFL-CIO backs just one measure
Every two years, Oregonians get to be supreme legislators for a day, voting yes or no on questions framed by others in the ballot initiative process. This year, nine initiatives got enough signatures to win a place on the ballot.
Unions react to NLRB rulings on ‘Kentucky River’ cases
Strike threats and strong language were some of the responses by nurses unions to a National Labor Relations Board ruling announced Oct. 3 that broadened the legal definition of supervisor to include hospital charge nurses.

Unions working cooperatively on most Oregon legislative races
While structurally more divided than in previous election years, Oregon unions are still working cooperatively on most state electoral contests. In state legislative races, however, there are some differences among unions.

Cathy Callahan leaves top job at local NLRB office
Cathy Callahan, the top official at the Portland office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), is leaving to take a job as head of the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission.
Appeals Court upholds racketeering, misconduct verdicts against Bill Sizemore
Nearly six years after two teachers unions sued ballot measure activist Bill Sizemore and his organizations under Oregon’s racketeering statute, the legal end remains unclear. On Oct. 4, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld most of a September 2002 jury verdict that said groups created by Sizemore engaged in a pattern of criminal activity to place two anti-union initiatives on the ballot in 2000.

Labor legislators’ keep workers’ interest in mind
A cadre of of retired unionists is seeking re-election to the Oregon House of Representatives — with the intent of keeping an eye out for workers’ interests. Lawyers and small business owners dominate the Republican-controlled House. The “labor legislators” — all of whom are blue-collar Democrats — help counter-balance that.

Oregon anti-NAFTA group says trade causing job losses and other woes
The Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, a labor-community alliance critical of NAFTA-style trade agreements, released a report Oct. 10 on the human impact of trade-related job losses in Oregon. The report is the product of over a year’s worth of interviews with Oregon workers who lost jobs due at least in part to foreign trade.

Unions help Hooley in re-election bid
Congressional races are part of the overall campaign of union members as they pound the pavement in Oregon encouraging colleagues, allies and working families to get their ballots in before 8 p.m. Nov. 7. One congressional candidate in Oregon is being targeted for support from the AFL-CIO — Democrat Darlene Hooley in the Fifth District.

Goldberg Mechanic Stuart Gibson labor law firm to close
Goldberg Mechanic Stuart Gibson, a prominent union-side labor law firm, will dissolve at the end of the year, and its attorneys will go in separate directions.

Member of OPEIU Local 11 running for Clark County clerk post
Vancouver resident Sherry Parker, a member of Office and Professional Employees Local 11, is the Democratic nominee for the position of Clark County clerk.

Think again
By Tim Nesbitt
Another losing season? Wait ‘til next year for health care reform
I’m used to rooting for teams that start strong but never make it into the playoffs. Still, when the game is elections and my team is health care, I have a hard time adjusting to another fading finish.