November 16, 2007 Volume 108 Number 22
Craft unions welcome veterans into training programs
National Guard and reserve members who are returning from war are finding the welcome mat is out at union apprenticeship training programs in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

AFSCME backs Clinton despite Western leaders’ call for no early endorsement
Calling her “the Democrat with the strength and experience who will always stand up for working Americans,” the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest union in the AFL-CIO, endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton Oct. 31 for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Oregon board finds Josephine County used outsourcing to punish strikers
Anti-union county commissioners in Southwestern Oregon broke state law last year when they fired 125 workers to retaliate against them for going on strike. On Oct. 30, a state board ruled that Josephine County’s outsourcing of mental health services was an “egregious” violation, and ordered the county to reinstate the workers and pay damages, including reimbursement for any wages and benefits they lost, plus 9 percent interest.

Hit-and-run driver kills Eugene labor activist
The labor movement mourned the loss of a Eugene activist leader last month. Lucy Lahr, age 45, was killed Oct. 18 by a hit-and-run driver as she was crossing a street in Eugene with her long-time partner Susan Wehner outside Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Mesothelioma claims UA’s Deblock, 73
Greg Deblock, a pipefitter and former business manager of Portland Steamfitters Local 235, died from mesothelioma Oct. 29. Mesothelioma is cancer of the lung linings caused by exposure to asbestos. Deblock passed away on the second day of trial in a personal injury lawsuit he filed in Portland. According to attorneys, Deblock was poised to deliver “a knock-out blow” for the remaining defendants.