February 18, 2005  Volume 106 Number 4

Strike at Servicemaster Swan Island

Janitors working in two high-rises owned by downtown developer Melvin ‘Pete’ Mark struck for four days beginning Feb. 2 in protest against cleaning company Servicemaster Swan Island, alleging intimidation, coercion and being forced to work off-the-clock. The struck buildings were Robert Duncan Plaza and Columbia Square office tower at 111 SW Columbia. The striking janitors don’t yet have union recognition; SEIU Local 49, which represents over 2,000 janitors in downtown office buildings, is collecting union authorization cards and plans to press the company for voluntarily recognition. Servicemaster striker Jason Barber, left, said he wants a union for the better wages.

George Bush's Campaign to Privatize Social Security

The details are dense, a little complex, and take time to digest. But the retirement security of American working people may rest on whether they understand what President George W. Bush proposes to do to Social Security.
Social Security privatization unites Democrats, divides GOP
Oregon's Democratic Congresspeople oppose President Bush's plan, while Republicans, including Senator Gordon Smith, remain non-committal.
Social Security workers pushed to promote partisan agenda
Steve Kofahl, a union leader representing Social Security Administration workers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska, testified before Democratic members of the U.S. Senate Jan. 28 that his employer has been ordering workers to promote the Bush Administration’s Social Security agenda, a violation of a federal law bans the use of tax dollars for partisan political propaganda.

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