May 16, 2008 Volume 109 Number 9

ILWU shuts ports on May Day to protest war
On May Day 2008, thousands of longshore workers shut down 29 West Coast ports to protest the war in Iraq. The action may have been the first ever walk-out by a U.S. union to oppose a war. The current Iraq war has lasted five years, and over 4,000 U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and countless wounded and maimed.

Initiatives dogged by suspicions
Get ready for déjà vu. A boatload of initiatives may be headed for the November ballot. At least 10 of the initiative campaigns are sponsored by the same chief petitioners who have filled ballots in previous years. They have the same millionaire funders, and the same for-profit company is gathering the signatures. Worst of all, the measures are headed for the ballot despite suspicions that the law was broken to get them there.
How time flies: Building trades council turns 100
Three generations of construction workers helped celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council May 10 at the Oregon Convention Center. Among the nearly 700 people attending the event were U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Portland Mayor Tom Potter, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, and Portland City Councilor (and mayoral candidate) Sam Adams.
Union members don’t just vote — they run for office
In Oregon, union members don’t just vote in elections; they run in them. The Northwest Labor Press was able to identify almost two dozen union members running for public office in the May primary.
Machinists, Boeing open contract talks
Negotiations between the Machinists and Boeing Company opened May 9 for more than 26,000 employees in the Seattle area, Portland, Oregon, and Wichita, Kansas. The current labor agreement expires Sept. 4. The Machinists motto this year is: “It's our time this time!" Boeing has rebounded, and members want bigger increases than they got in the last two rounds of contract bargaining.  
Steelworkers’ tentative deal at Cascade Steel Rolling Mills may unravel
Members of the bargaining team for United Steelworkers Local 8378 thought they had a deal April 30 with Schnitzer Steel Industries, owner of Cascade Steel Rolling Mills in McMinnville. But it appeared to have unraveled.
Bend newspaper spurns union ad supporting bus drivers
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 wanted to tell its side of the story. The 40 or so bus drivers and support staff of Bend Area Transit voted 15 months ago to join ATU, but they still don’t have a union contract. To appeal to the community, ATU decided to place a large ad in the April 15 issue of the Bend Bulletin.

Alliance for Retired Americans keeps retirees current
Union involvement doesn’t have to end when pension checks start to arrive. Millions of union members stay connected in union retiree groups, and in the Alliance for Retired Americans — an umbrella group aimed at union retirees.
Labor agency suspends ‘Helping Hands’ program
Labor’s Community Service Agency has temporarily suspended its emergency assistance program due to lack of cash.

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