May 18, 2007 Volume 108 Number 10

Presidential hopeful visits Portland, Seattle labor
2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards chose a local union headquarters to make his first Portland campaign appearance. On May 2, several hundred Democratic Party faithful filled the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 8 hall to hear Edwards' positions on health care, global warming and the war in Iraq..

SEIU 49 agrees to no card check organizing
Portland-based SEIU Local 49 appears to have been targeted for legal action by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an anti-union group based in Virginia. Lawyers for the group helped a Portland maintenance worker press a pair of unfair labor practice complaints against both Local 49 and his employer — Somers Building Maintenance — a janitorial contractor based in Sacramento.
Major reform possible in immigration policy
Major reform of U.S. immigration policy may soon be coming. U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kyl have been negotiating with the White House. If they hammer out an agreement, the Senate could debate and pass an immigration reform bill by Memorial Day, which would then go to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval.
Labor sees partial gains, modest disappointments at Olympia
When the Washington State Legislature wrapped up its 2007 session last month, the state labor movement looked back on a season of partial gains and modest disappointments. Democrats controlled both chambers and the governor’s office for the third year in a row, and yet many of the union-supported bills tracked by the Washington State Labor Council died in one legislative committee or another.

Washington Congressman Brian Baird explains positions on union issues
Vancouver, Washington, Congressman Brian Baird wants to set the record straight. He supports unions. He supports a workers’ right to form a union without being harassed by their bosses. He supports project labor agreements, state and federal prevailing wage laws, and buying American-made goods.

Afghan-Iraqi Freedom War Memorial has union ties
The new Afghan-Iraqi Freedom War Memorial, on the grounds of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs in Salem, has deep union ties. Bill McMichaels, a 33-year member of Plumbers and Fitters Local 290, designed the memorial, helped spearhead the drive to raise funds, and was the project manager responsible for finding skilled workers and contractors to donate their time and materials.

Oregon unions join in push for energy independence
Representatives of union, environmental, business and community groups launched a new coalition May 15, known as the Oregon Apollo Alliance for Good Jobs and Energy Independence. The group is one of 10 state chapters of a national coalition spearheaded by the Campaign for America's Future. The group will promote energy efficiency, biofuels, solar energy, green building and consumer and business incentives to develop Oregon's clean energy economy.

Bend transit contractor drops appeal of ATU union election
A May 12 Solidarity Rally for Bend city bus drivers trying to form a union turned into a victory celebration after their employer — Paratransit Services — announced it was dropping its appeal of a union election and reinstating a pro-union employee it fired shortly after the election.

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