March 18, 2011 Volume 112 Number 6

Wisconsin governor's union-busting ignites backlash
The uprising’s second stage began March 2 when the Wisconsin Democratic Party announced a plan to recall Republican state senators.

[Left: At a March 7 rally in Salem, Leroy Marney of Laborers Local 121 collects money in his hard hat for Wisconsin's fight to save collective bargaining rights.]


The new face of labor? At Dosha salon, 155 workers will vote on union
Dosha Salon and Spa could become the first salon in Portland to go union in modern times. About 155 employees there will vote March 29 and 30 whether to unionize. Employees including some who earn a as little as minimum wage say they want more say over their working conditions, and maybe a greater share of the profit.

Hundreds rally in Salem for jobs and solidarity
Union members from more than two dozen locals, unemployed workers, and supporters of workers’ rights took part in a March 7 rally in Salem calling for more jobs for Oregonians and to show solidarity with public employees in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the Midwest, where Republican lawmakers are trying to strip them of their collective bargaining rights.

Portland teachers ratify new contract but face gauntlet of critics
Portland teachers agreed to another belt-tightening union contract, but that wasn’t enough for a crowd of well-connected critics who attended a March 7 school board meeting. Stand for Children, a national school reform group headquartered in Portland, mobilized scores of supporters to attend the special board meeting and criticize the contract for preserving step increases and seniority rights.

Why workers fell out of love with Boeing
Fifteen years ago, four academic researchers were handed unprecedented access to workers at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Since then, Boeing downsized, reorganized, merged, digitalized, and outsourced. The result, the researchers found, is that employees are more disenchanted and less committed to the company, more attuned to outside life and less involved in their jobs, and broadly worried — for themselves and for their country — about outsourcing.

Bills banning collective bargaining die in Washington Legislature
Washington State Labor Council, which coordinates labor union lobbying in Olympia, is tracking dozens of bills that could help or harm union members and working people. So far this year, WSLC has had successes pushing bills toward passage, and has helped kill objectionable bills, but also has seen proposals that it backed die for lack of support.
 
Oregon Legislature weighs labor-backed bills as 2011 session progresses
One third of the way through this year’s five-month Oregon legislative session, several bills backed by organized labor are progressing through the legislative process. Others are still at the starting line.
High school students get lessons in pipe trades at UA training center
Plumbers and Fitters Local 290 has opened its training center to students from the Tigard-Tualatin School District. Eleven high school students spend an hour every other day learning to weld, braze, solder — and experience first-hand how important math is to the trade.

Bodendorfer elected new business rep at Elevator Constructors
Mike Bodendorfer has been elected business representative of Portland-based Elevator Constructors Local 23. He defeated three others in a race to succeed Frank Regalado, who did not run for re-election.

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