May 21, 2010 Volume 111 Number 10
Laborers take BrucePac dispute
to next stage
In April, a federal judge ruled BrucePac illegally fired pro-union workers. Now Local 296 is taking the campaign to BrucePac customers.
[Vigil for Justice: Laura de Cordoba, Manuel Coria, Jose Carmen Maciel, Luis Coria, and Domitila Lopez are among 18 pro-union workers fired by Willamette Valley meat processor BrucePac.]
Union pension funds face slow-motion crisis
Two years after a severe Wall Street downturn, working people suffer not just joblessness, but reduced chances for a secure retirement. About 10.4 million American workers are counting on retirement benefits from multiemployer union pension trusts; the value of those trusts’ investment assets fell 22 percent in 2008.
Will Congress come to the rescue of multiemployer pension funds?
Congress may give some relief to beleaguered union multiemployer pension trusts, via provisions added to the “tax extenders” bill. The provisions would give underfunded pension trusts more time to make up for investment losses, a change that would reduce the immediate burden on participating union employers and lessen pressure to cut benefits.
Oregon’s Worker Freedom Act survives court challenge
Oregon’s Worker Freedom Act has survived its first court challenge. In a May 6 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman dismissed a lawsuit by two business groups that wanted the union-authored state law struck down.
Building trades back bid for private casino
A proposed private casino in east Multnomah County has won support of the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council.
Two proposed construction projects in Oregon shelved
NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc., halted development of a $650 million liquefied natural gas facility at Bradwood Landing near Astoria and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And the Portland Development Commission will renew its office lease in Old Town, scuttling a proposal by TMT Development Co. to move to the yet-to-be-built Park Avenue West Tower downtown.
Five unfair labor practice complaints filed against Portland French School
At a private school in Southwest Portland, pro-union teachers and support staff encountered a management backlash when they sought to join American Federation of Teachers - Oregon.
Glass Workers 139B wages one-week strike at Vancouver Iron & Steel
About 85 members of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers Local 139B waged a week-long strike May 8-14 at Vancouver Iron and Steel, a truck parts foundry. After the two sides met again May 14, members voted to accept the offer they had rejected the week before.
Flute Fandango wants to set Guinness record
Portland Musicians Local 99 is looking for any and all flutists to help break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest flute ensemble to ever perform.
Pridemore nabs AFL-CIO endorsement for Congress
State Sen. Craig Pridemore of Vancouver, a candidate for the Southwest Washington Congressional seat vacated by Brian Baird, was endorsed in a roll-call vote by the Washington State Labor Council at its May 15 Committee on Political Education (COPE) convention in Seattle.
Nesbitt to be governor’s chief of staff
Tim Nesbitt, a former president of the Oregon AFL-CIO and current deputy chief of staff to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, will be promoted to chief of staff effective June 18. Nesbitt will succeed Chip Terhune, who has accepted the position of director of environmental and public affairs at Schnitzer Steel.
Springfield Roofers merge with Local 49 of Portland
Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters endorsed John Kitzhaber for governor at its quarterly council delegate meeting Feb. 20.
After 26 years helping others, Glenn Shuck retires
Glenn Shuck, the head of Labor’s Community Service Agency, is retiring after 26 years of helping union members and area citizens get through tough times.