October 7, 2005  Volume 106 Number 19

Workers at Portland Water Bureau head to New Orleans
Trucks and equipment from the City of Portland Water Bureau left for New Orleans Oct. 3, and 35 skilled union workers from the Bureau will follow, to help rebuild New Orleans' water system, damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

[Left: Lead water service mechanic Otha Govan, a member of AFSCME Local 189, is one of 35 Portland Water Bureau employees headed for New Orleans.]

Machinists ratify contract at Boeing
Some 18,400 Machinists Union members in Washington, Oregon and Kansas voted Sept. 29 by a better than 80 percent margin to approve a new three-year contract with the Boeing Company and end their 28-day strike.

Split in labor movement hits Oregon state labor federation
At its Sept. 23 General Board meeting, the Oregon AFL-CIO continued to grapple with what to do about a split in the national labor movement. On the table are budget cuts, and dues increases.

Union coalition ratifies 5-year pact with Kaiser Permanente
Unionized workers at Kaiser Permanente ratified a new five-year contract Sept. 28. The contract covers some 82,000 employees from 29 different unions at more than 400 Kaiser facilities in eight states, including Oregon and Washington, that bargaining jointly under the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.

SEIU chief says U.S. health care needs radical overhaul
Andy Stern, the national union president who led a group of unions to break away from the AFL-CIO, told a group of Portland health care professionals Sept. 20 that America's health care system is unsustainable in its current form and can't be fixed by tinkering.

Laborers 483 unhappy with Portland Commissioner Saltzman
Members of Laborers Local 483 are unhappy with Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman for a vote he cast against a new union contract at Portland Parks and Recreation. The unit had been without a contract for over a year.
Saltzman was the only member of City Council to vote against the pact, which was bargained by city management.
Bush uses hurricane disaster to ram through low-wage work
Organized labor is pushing national, state and local elected officials to call on President George W. Bush to restore prevailing wages for construction workers who will rebuild the Gulf Coast devastated by Hurricane Katrina.


Think again
A regular column by Oregon AFL-CIO President Tim Nesbitt
Getting beyond the five stages of grief for Oregon’s education system
Listen to almost any discussion of the prospects for repairing our education system in Oregon today, and you're likely to hear a dysfunctional version of what psychologists call the five stages of grief.


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