March 7, 2008 Volume 109 Number 5
helps students train for robotics competition
[Left, a team from the Beaverton Education Foundation cheers on a competitor.]
Postal workers say mail is being processed without anthrax-sniffing machines
Six years after letters containing anthrax killed two Washington, D.C., postal workers, several complaints filed by union postal workers in Portland suggest caution may be waning at the U.S. Postal Service.
Oregon's special legislative session wraps up with only minor achievements
The Oregon Legislature’s first-ever experiment with an annual session wrapped up Feb. 22. No major union-related bills were debated during the three-week session, but labor organizations took sides in favor of a handful of bills. Not many of those passed, despite Democratic leadership of the Oregon House, Oregon Senate and governor’s office.
U.S. trade deficit with China zooms
America's trade imbalance with China is continuing to worsen, according to statistics released in February by the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2007, U.S. imports from China set a new record: $321.5 billion, the equivalent of $1,068 of Chinese goods for every man, woman and child in America.
Building Trades charter school will open this fall
A new charter school in East Multnomah County is partnering with apprenticeship training programs to offer classes focusing on construction trades, engineering and architecture.
Grocery, meat workers wrap up more contracts
Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 ratified several more contracts last month on the heels of a ratification vote in Eugene-Springfield. Grocery wages in Salem, Corvallis, Albany, Sweet Home, Lebanon, and Newport will increase $1.30 an hour over the life of the agreement.
Portland Public School bus drivers ratify contract
Union school bus drivers at Portland Public Schools ratified a new union contract Feb. 29, after more than two years of working without a contract. The group of 85 workers drive buses for special education students, and are represented by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757. Drivers will get annual raises of 2.5 percent.
Bakers Local 114 holds job fair for nonunion crew
Portland Bakers Local 114 held a job fair March 1 for nonunion employees at Kerry Sweet Ingredients in Tualatin. Kerry, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of food ingredients, announced it would close its Tualatin plant and lay off 80 employees. Workers there had tried to join Local 114 last year, but faced a management-supported anti-union campaign.
Part-time PSU profs get contract
Part-time professors at Portland State University reached a deal Feb. 22, after nearly 10 months of union contract bargaining. The new contract includes a pay increase of just over 5 percent a year. Even after the raise, they’ll continue to gross less than $15,000 a year and still will have no employer-provided health, pension or other fringe benefits.
© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.