April 20, 2007 Volume 108 Number 8

Portland union members tell Congress: ‘No new NAFTAs’
Left, laid-off Freightliner workers hold an anti-NAFTA demonstration outside Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden's office April 4. Support for NAFTA-style trade deals is waning among Democrats, which could mean a halt this year to further treaties.

Independent union attempts raid on Oregon AFSCME corrections unit
The Association of Oregon Corrections Employees, a stand-alone 750-member union, is mounting its biggest-ever “raid” on Oregon AFSCME, campaigning to represent the 1,669 employees who are in AFSCME’s corrections officer bargaining unit. A vote is expected in late May or early June.

AFSCME 189 suspends labor-management cooperation with Portland mayor
The City of Portland’s largest union has temporarily suspended all labor-management committee work with Mayor Tom Potter. The suspension comes after the Portland Police Bureau placed desk clerk Angela Oswalt, an officer of AFSCME Local 189, on administrative leave for refusing to answer questions related to union business. Oswalt last year accused former Police Chief Derrick Foxworth of sexual misconduct, and later filed a lawsuit against the bureau that is still pending.

Heart attack claims Laborers Local 296 business manager Little Richard Steward
L.R. “Little Richard” Steward, business manager/secretary-treasurer of Portland Laborers Local 296, died at his home April 4. He was 58.

Labor will honor Oregon workers killed on the job
Workers Memorial Day, April 28, events and actions around the nation also will celebrate the more than a quarter of a million working men and women alive today because of the far-reaching and successful workplace safety battles workers and their unions have won.  In Oregon, governor Ted Kulongoski will speak at a memorial rally held by the Oregon AFL-CIO.
5,000 attend NW Carpenters unity rally in Portland
More than 5,000 members of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, their families, friends and allies gathered at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland April 15 for a “Taking Care of Business” unity rally.

Students try handling 40-ton crane
On April 4, students at Roosevelt High School in North Portland found a 40-ton crane on their football field, courtesy of Campbell Crane. Building trades unions are trying to recruit young people and wanted to draw attention to a new after-school trades program.

Portland unions weigh in on proposed charter changes on May ballot
Portland area labor unions and labor councils are supporting only one of the four proposals — Measure 26-92, which, specifically, would increase oversight of the Portland Development Commission.

AFSCME Council 75 re-elects Gillespie president; dedicates building to Lucy
At Oregon AFSCME's biennial convention, Gary Gillespie was re-elected president, defeating challenger Tina Turner-Morfitt. Delegates also restructured the union's dues structure from a flat monthly fee to a percentage based on wages, and named the union's Portland headquarters the “William Lucy AFSCME Labor Center,” in tribute to their International Secretary-Treasurer William Lucy.

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