December 4, 2009 Volume 110 Number 23

Congress closes in on health care reform
The U.S. Senate is beginning to discuss a 2,074-page bill to reform health care. It's a long way from the dream, voiced by thousands of union activists, of expanding Medicare to all Americans.

[Left, retired letter carrier Peter Shapiro, calling for single payer health care, was one of seven unionists arrested Oct. 14 for blocking the entrance to a Portland insurance company.]

BrucePac faces NLRB charges in mass firing of pro-union workers
Cooked meat producer BrucePac fired at least 17 union supporters just weeks into a union campaign at the company’s two Salem-area plants, according to charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board by Laborers Local 296.
Laurelhurst nursing home now a union shop
Laurelhurst Village nursing home in Southeast Portland, which fired a pro-union worker during an anti-union campaign in April, agreed to recognize Service Employees International Union Local 503 as its employees' exclusive bargaining representative.
Portland renews use of prison labor in parks
For Portland City Council, it seemed like a routine matter: reauthorizing the use of prisoner labor in city parks. But Laborers Local 483 Business Manager Richard Beetle saw something objectionable about it.
Bill and Cindy Sizemore indicted for tax evasion
The Oregon Department of Justice has filed tax evasion charges against Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Sizemore and his wife Cindy. A grand jury indicted the Sizemores on three counts each of evading Oregon personal income taxes.
'Next Waver' Hanna installed as president of AFSCME Local 88
Michael Hanna, a 38-year-old database administrator for Multnomah County, took office Nov. 18 as president of Oregon AFSCME's second-largest local.    
After 40+ years, secretary says goodbye to Machinists Union
Kathi Schneider retired Nov. 30 after 41 years at the local Machinists headquarters, during which she held just about every office position, from general secretary to bookkeeper to chief of staff. She was instrumental in helping the union establish a research department and benefits office.

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