December 17, 2010 Volume 111 Number 24

Kulongoski report takes aim at state employees’ compensation
Oregon's outgoing governor is proposing that next year's Legislature make a series of cuts to state employee compensation.

[Left: At his Dec. 1 “Reset Cabinet” press briefing, Gov. Ted Kulongoski (left) proposes cuts to public employee compensation. Looking on is his chief-of-staff Tim Nesbitt, former president of the Oregon AFL-CIO.]

Delta remains non-union as fourth group votes to reject unionization
Delta Air Lines customer service workers voted Dec. 7 not to join the Machinists. It was the fourth major union defeat at Delta since heavily unionized Northwest Airlines merged into largely nonunion Delta. Altogether, unions stood to gain 34,000 new members, but instead lost 17,000 existing members.
The U.S. political system has been hijacked by rich, political scientists say
In their new book Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate that America’s runaway inequality wasn’t caused by impersonal economic forces, but by a political system that has been hijacked by the super-rich. The Labor Press spoke with Pierson by phone.
Help is out there for long-term unemployed
For union members in need, by far the two biggest sources of help are unemployment insurance and food stamps. In the Portland area, unions refer hardship cases to Labor's Community Service Agency.
Union volunteers help build home for injured Iraq war veteran
Members of several trades unions were among scores of volunteers who helped build a new home for injured Iraq war veteran SPC Kevin Pannell. Pannell was serving in Iraq with the 1st Cavalry Division when he was severely injured on June 13, 2004.
AFSCME’s Ridderbusch named to governor-elect’s transition team
Oregon AFSCME staff rep Randy Ridderbusch has been named to Governor-elect John Kitzhaber’s transition team regarding the Department of Human Services, the Department of Corrections and the Oregon Youth Authority.
Pre-apprentice program offers direct entry into Carpenters
The Constructing Hope Pre-Apprenticeship Program held a graduation ceremony for 13 trainees Dec. 2 at the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute. Constructing Hope, a faith-based non-profit, recruits ex-offenders, minorities, and low-income residents for free training to build skills and knowledge of the construction industry.
BULL Session golf tournament raises $300,000 for kids charities
Nine children’s charities were presented with the proceeds of this year’s 20th annual Business Union and Labor Leaders Charity Golf Tournament. A total of $300,000 was distributed to local charities that benefit children needing long-term chronic care, short-term respite, and end-of-life care. Since its inception in 1990, the BULL session has raised over $4 million.