April 1, 2011 Volume 112 Number 7
GOP mounting attacks on unions nationwide
Remember the union picket line slogan, "Take one of us on, take all of us on?" This year, statehouse Republicans across the country appear to have resolved to "take all of us on." Bills are being pushed to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees, end the prevailing wage and project labor agreements for construction workers, hamper union dues collection, and get rid of wage scales and seniority protections.
Buy America policy boosts manufacturing; more needed
Union ironworkers and electricians at United Streetcar were in the media spotlight March 21 as U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stopped by the Clackamas, Oregon, facility to promote American competitiveness and job growth in the global transit marketplace.
Congressman Wu tells labor he'll oppose Korea trade agreement
A teary-eyed U.S. Rep. David Wu thanked organized labor for standing with him as he fends off accusations that he isn't mentally fit to serve in office. And he announced for the first time his opposition to the proposed Korean Free Trade Agreement, calling it a "job destroyer."
Columbian newspaper boycott presses forward
A month-old boycott of the Columbian newspaper called by the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council has gotten the attention of publisher Scott Campbell. A coalition of union leaders from eight locals was asked to meet with Campbell, editor Lou Brancaccio, and editorial page editor John Laird March 23 to air their concerns.
Oregon Legislature passes unemployment extension
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed two bills March 24 that will extend unemployment benefits to Oregonians still looking for work. State Rep. Brad Witt, a union rep at UFCW Local 555, delivered an impassioned speech on the House Floor in favor of the bills.
Unions raise $15,995 for MDA
Tallies are in, and union members collected a whopping $15,995 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association at the 22nd annual Labor Bowl Challenge. Since the event's inception in 1989, union members have donated $327,823.75 to MDA.
Oregon AFSCME recommits to message of solidarity
At Oregon AFSCME Council 75's Eugene, Oregon, convention March 11-13, delegates voted to create a new media fund and to build up the union's political fund. They also elected new officers, and heard reports from Wisconsin and from AFSCME's national leadership. The biennial convention drew 200-plus delegates, alternates and guests to the Hilton Eugene Hotel and Conference Center.
Richards elected to third term as head of OPEIU Local 11
Mike Richards was re-elected by acclamation to a third term as executive secretary-treasurer of Vancouver-based Office and Professional Employees Local 11.
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