May 4, 2007 Volume 108 Number 9
Fired Portland school custodians settle for $14.5 million
Portland Public Schools will pay about $37,000 each to 280 custodians it fired in summer of 2002, as part of a $14.5 million settlement to a class-action lawsuit. The out-of-court settlement was negotiated by lawyers for the two sides and approved by the School Board at a special April 23 meeting.

Contractor fires pro-union Bend bus driver
A popular bus driver who was instrumental in organizing a union at Bend Area Transit was fired from his job April 11. Russ Evans was terminated by Paratransit Services — an out-of-state contractor that runs Bend’s transit system — just nine days after he had appeared before the Bend City Council to ask for political help in getting the company to recognize the union.

Maintenance crew at Portland Schools votes to authorize strike
A bargaining group of 119 skilled trades workers at Portland Public Schools may be on the verge of a strike after years of contract stonewalling by the district. Members of the 14-union DCU have been working without a new contract since Dec. 31, 2005.

Freightliner cutbacks have ripple effects at several local manufacturing suppliers
With Freightliner shifting truck production to Mexico, the company’s own workers aren't the only ones affected.
PDC staffers vote to join AFSCME
Non-supervisory staff at the Portland Development Commission voted May 1 to join the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The vote to unionize was 63 to 50 in a bargaining unit of 127. PDC is the quasi-independent development arm of the City of Portland.
NW Oregon Labor Council supports two challengers for Portland School Board
The Northwest Oregon Labor Council has endorsed two challengers running for school board seats at Portland Public Schools. The council supports neighborhood activist Ruth Adkins in Zone 1 and social worker Michele Schultz in Zone 2. Adkins is running against incumbent Doug Morgan, while Schultz is challenging incumbent David Wynde.
Overtime pay after eight hours will have to wait
With Democrats in control of the Oregon Legislature for the first time since 1989, Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner thought it might be time to return to the pre-1985 glory days when Oregon workers got overtime pay after eight hours. But a bill Gardner introduced to do that drew opposition from business leaders and some Democrats.

In Oregon Legislature, many labor-backed bills advancing
The Oregon House of Representatives passed three of the Oregon AFL-CIO’s “top priority” bills last month. The bills are designed to protect the rights of working Oregonians to organize and collectively bargain without interference by employers.
UFCW Local 555 shop stewards hear from Dick Gephardt at annual summit
No, he isn’t running for president again, but former Democratic presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt made a stop in Portland April 26 to speak at the annual Steward Summit of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555.