June 2, 2006  Volume 107 Number 11

Trojan cooling tower imploded
On May 21, in 10 seconds, the cooling tower at the Trojan nuclear plant in Rainier, Ore., was imploded by explosives, falling 499 feet to the ground. Union work crews drilled the holes for the dynamite, and went to work removing all the debris. Over the next three years, PGE plans to demolish several facilities at the site, part of its 1996 decommission plan. (Photo courtesy PGE)

Portland school custodians could get millions in back pay
The return to work of 330 Portland Public Schools custodians is still full of uncertainty, six months after the Oregon Supreme Court declared that their 2002 firing was illegal. When they’ll return, whether they’ll receive back pay, and what their pay and benefits will be, remain to be determined.

Laborers bolt AFL-CIO; SEIU leaves Oregon state fed
On May 20, SEIU Locals 503 and 49 voted to end their charter agreements with the Oregon AFL-CIO. The two unions accounted for more than 42,000 members at the state labor federation.
Providence frowns on state official’s role on ‘Fair Elections’ panel
After Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury agreed to look at the union election rights of workers at Providence Health Systems, he got a pair of threat letters from Providence and its industry association.

UA Local 290 obtains $3.60 an hour raise over next 3 years
Plumbers and Fitters Local 290 have come to terms on an economic package covering the last three years of their six-year collective bargaining agreement with the Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association.
Oregon Lottery workers vote to stay nonunion
A majority of workers at the Oregon Lottery are betting they'll be better off on their own without a union. In mail-in ballots counted May 23, 127 Lottery workers voted in favor of joining the largest state employees union, Service Employees International Union Local 503, while 165 voted against. Turnout was 96 percent.

Think again
A regular column by Tim Nesbitt
Westlund can’t win, but he can spoil the race for governor
Oregon’s political pundits are calling this a three-way race for governor. If that’s the case, put Ben Westlund on the bottom of your trifecta ticket, because he’s a sure thing to finish third.