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© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.


May 20, 2005  Volume 106 Number 10

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tim Nesbitt, left, was a guest on Al Franken’s radio show May 10, broadcast live from Portland. The show, known as the O’Franken Factor, airs nationwide on the recently-formed Air America network. In Portland, it airs 9 to noon weekdays on KPOJ 620 AM.

CAFTA fight boils down to who will benefit from trade
With the day of decision looming in Congress, CAFTA — the Central American Free Trade Agreement — is shaping up to be the most important trade policy battle since NAFTA.

Construction unions criticized by outgoing PDC chair Hennessee
Union officials attending a Portland Development Commission meeting May 11 were “stunned” and “insulted” by comments the panel’s chair made at the close of the meeting.

Social Security benefits would be cut by progressive indexing
In early May, debate flared over a new feature in President Bush’s campaign to change Social Security. Bush proposed a formula for Social Security benefit cuts, which he termed “progressive indexing.”

Oregon labor leaders ponder idea of political party for workers
Seeing the growing influence of corporate cash on the Democratic and Republican parties, some U.S. union leaders are asking whether working people need their own political party. “Working Families” parties have already formed in New York and Connecticut, and in April, the head of the New York party pitched the idea to Oregon labor leaders.

SEIU Local 503 organizes six more nursing homes in Oregon
Service Employees International Union Local 503 has begun a second wave of union organizing at Oregon nursing homes. In April, workers voted in the union at six out of nine nursing homes SEIU tried to unionize. Since those votes, SEIU has petitioned to represent workers at five other nursing homes, with elections likely in late May or June.

Petroff re-elected at Machinists District Lodge 24
Robert Petroff was re-elected directing business representative of Machinists District Lodge 24. He defeated challenger Brian Severns by a vote of 593-481.

Wu opposes Cascade Locks casino, irks construction unions
Construction trades unions are furious with First District Congressman David Wu after he announced opposition to a proposed Indian casino in Cascade Locks that, if approved by the federal government, will be built under an all-union project labor agreement.