November 7, 2008 Volume 109 Number 21

Labor celebrates election night victories
Across the country on election night, organized labor celebrated the election of Democrat Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. And in Oregon it was by and large a night of labor movement victories.

[Left, Kathy Blay, Courtney Fisher, Jerry Fisher and Lisa Fisher cheer as they listen to Barack Obama’s victory speech on a big screen TV at the Oregon Convention Center. Jerry Fisher is a field representative for Glazers Local 740.]

Daimler says ‘bye, bye’ to making trucks in Portland
The long-feared news came Oct. 14. A truck-making operation that employed generations of Portlanders will close in June 2010, as part of a major restructuring of Daimler Trucks North America.

Solidarity leads to new Machinists contract at Boeing
Machinists at Boeing ratified a new four-year contract Nov. 1, ending a strike that began Sept. 6. The union was able to secure over 5,000 jobs and provide security for the entire workforce, stopping Boeing from chipping away at jobs.  
Steelworkers win extension in card-check campaign at Oregon Steel
United Steel Workers will have three additional weeks to make a case for unionizing to workers at Evraz Oregon Steel Mills plant in Portland.  
Oregon's largest private-sector union elects new leaders
Running as a slate, Dan Clay and Jeff Anderson were elected president and secretary-treasurer, respectively, of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, Oregon's largest private-sector union. Clay succeeds Gene Pronovost, who did not seek re-election. Local 555 represents approximately 18,000 workers.

Second group of child care workers joins Laborers 320
In July, Laborers Local 320 organized 170 workers at the Oregon Child Development Coalition in Washington County. Last month, a group of 55 workers at the Coalition’s Multnomah County unit in Gresham voted to join the union. And Local 320 has requested an election at a 90-employee Coaltiion unit in Marion County.

Portland passes first ‘sweatshop free’ ordinance in the Pacific Northwest
Portland City Council voted 4-0 on Oct. 15 in favor of a “sweatshop free” ordinance that establishes a code of conduct for garment workers who make uniforms for city police, firefighters and other uniform-wearing public employees.

Last 100 years mostly ‘up’ for Elevator Constructors
Elevator construction, as a skilled craft, has had ups and downs over the last 100 years. But thanks to their union, it’s been mostly ups for members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 23.
New Apollo program calls for massive investment in green jobs
The Oregon AFL-CIO and Congressman Earl Blumenauer have thrown their support behind an Apollo Alliance plan calling for the federal government to invest $500 billion over the next decade to create more than 5 million “green collar” jobs in the United States.

UNITE HERE seeks City’s help dealing with Vancouver Hilton
Union employees of the Hilton Vancouver Washington are asking for help from the City of Vancouver to improve their health coverage. The hotel and adjoining Vancouver Convention Center are owned by the City and managed by the Hilton Hotels Corporation. About 140 hotel and convention center workers belong to UNITE HERE Local 9.

Carpenters Food Bank logs 25 years helping others
Since its inception in 1983 — when they were turning out 850 boxes of food a week — the Carpenters food bank has provided millions of meals to needy residents.
Workers’ comp division files proposed rules on medical fees to care providers
With Measures 58 through 64, staring down at organized labor like a partly-loaded pistol, measures at the beginning and end of the ballot aren’t getting as much attention. But labor organizations are taking sides on those as well.