May 2, 2008 Volume 109 Number 9

Workers Memorial Day service in Portland
Family and friends of Jeff Helgeson (foreground) raise a flag in his memory during a Workers Memorial Day ceremony April 28 sponsored by the Northwest Oregon Labor Council. Helgeson, a member of Laborers Local 320, was killed on the job in July 2007 after being struck in the head by a falling 8-foot jackhammer on a downtown Portland construction project. He was one of more than 59 workers killed on the job in Oregon in 2007. In the back-ground, flags are raised in remembrance of each of those workers.

Union adversary Bill Sizemore poised for comeback
On April 18, ballot measure activist Bill Sizemore appeared in Multnomah County Circuit Court for a hearing on whether he should be held in contempt of court. And yet in Salem, the Oregon secretary of state may be on track to approve six of Sizemore’s initiatives for the November 2008 ballot.
Three union-friendly Democrats in running for Oregon secretary of state
All three candidates for the Democratic nomination for Oregon secretary of state this year are state senators, and all three have a reputation among Oregon unions as friends of labor. But Kate Brown, Rick Metsger, and Vicki Walker differ in their approaches to a job that most Oregonians are only dimly aware of.
Lifelong union activist Michael Dembrow campaigns hard for House seat
Michael Dembrow, 56, is the kind of trade union true believer who keeps inspiration alive in the labor movement. Now he’s making a serious run for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives. In a three-way race with two well-funded opponents, Dembrow has the backing of organized labor.
AFT turns up heat in nurse union campaign at Legacy
American Federation of Teachers has been trying to unionize 3,000 nurses at Legacy Health System for four years. Over the last month, the campaign has been turning up the heat: Union organizers have begun publicly distributing leaflets embarrassing to Legacy. And the union is getting ready to request a government-run union election.  
City of Portland workers get chance to help elect their own bosses
AFSCME Local 189, which represents about 1,100 city workers, is backing Sam Adams for mayor and Nick Fish and Randy Leonard for City Council, and is staying out of the race to fill the Council seat Adams is vacating. Laborers Local 483, which represents about 600 city workers, also backs Fish and Leonard, plus Amanda Fritz for Adams’ seat, but is making no endorsement in the mayor’s race.
Connie Ashbrook: Bringing women to the trades
In the late '60s, Connie Ashbrook's high school offered shop classes. For boys only. But when she entered the workforce, legal barriers to women were coming down. In 1987, Ashbrook became Oregon’s first female journeyman elevator mechanic. She helped found Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. — one of about 10 groups nationwide that work to recruit women to join building trades unions; 19 years later, 1 in 20 Oregon apprentices is a woman.
Classified employees ratify four-year contract at Portland School District
The Portland Federation of Teachers and Classified Employees Local 111 ratified a new four-year contract with Portland Public Schools. Over the life of the contract, members will get a wage increase of 6.5 to 10 percent.
Columbia-Pacific Building Trades Council backs several local candidates
The Columbia-Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council is endorsing Sam Adams for Portland mayor — as well as several other candidates in city and county races within its jurisdiction.

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