March 16, 2007 Volume 108 Number 6

Letter Carriers deliver message: No privatization
A Beaverton postmaster’s decision to contract out mail delivery is producing a major outcry among union letter carriers. The dispute is a local skirmish in a national war of ideology within the United States Postal Service.

[Left, Willie Higgins had to drive five miles to pick up his mail because of a USPS decision to privatize mail delivery.]

Change to Win unions share organizing ideas
Oregon locals of the Change to Win labor federation shared ideas for organizing in the Pacific Northwest — and pledged to support each other’s campaigns — during a daylong organizing workshop March 3 in Portland. Nearly 125 delegates representing all seven unions that make up the Change to Win federation attended.
Labor opposes ‘strong mayor’ form of government
Organized labor is lining up in opposition to a May ballot measure that seeks to change how the City of Portland is governed. Joining the opposition campaign are the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, Portland Fire Fighters Local 43, Portland City Employees Local 189, an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and Laborers Municipal Employees Local 483.

Two central labor councils east of Cascade Range merge
The Umatilla-Morrow Central Labor Council and the Eastern Oregon Central Labor Council merged March 6 to form a new entity now known as the Eastern Oregon Labor Council.
The new organization will be responsible for fostering labor unity and coordinated action in a politically conservative and sparsely populated geographic jurisdiction that comprises almost half the state.
Freightliner Machinists prepare for layoff, bargaining
Machinists Local 1005 moved into speed-up mode in March, as the union simultaneously prepares to help 632 members due to be laid off at Freightliner at the end of the month and gears up to bargain a contract for the 655 who remain. Local 1005 — the largest of four unions at Freightliner — is also considering a political protest against politicians who voted for job-destroying trade agreements. And it expects to add a new group of Freightliner workers, even though they will most likely be laid off not long after joining the union.

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