June 6, 2008 Volume 109 Number 11

Retired Labor Press editor and columnist Gene Klare dies
Gene Klare, retired editor of the Northwest Labor Press and the longest-serving columnist in the newspaper's 109-year history, died May 30 from complications following a mild heart attack. He was 81.

Latest anti-union ads target Oregon’s Jeff Merkley
A pair of business-backed front groups run by a Washington, D.C., lobbyist is waging a wide-ranging media campaign against organized labor. Stopping the union-backed Employee Free Choice Act appears to be the goal of the campaign by the Center for Union Facts and the Employee Freedom Action Committee.

UNITE HERE Local 9 gets contract at Portland Hilton
Contract negotiators for the Portland Hilton Hotel & Executive Tower and UNITE HERE Local 9 reached a breakthrough May 29 that will likely end the union’s seven-month-old boycott of the hotel.
Sizemore held in contempt of court
A Multnomah County judge held anti-union ballot measure activist Bill Sizemore in contempt of court May 27 for willfully violating a 2003 court order. The court order came after a lawsuit filed in 2000 by the Oregon Education Association and American Federation of Teachers-Oregon.

Union-built Cascade Grain ethanol plant up and running
The union-built and union-operated Cascade Grain ethanol plant at Clatskanie, Oregon's Port Westward Energy Park is in full production as of June 6. The $192 million all-union plant broke ground under a project labor agreement in July 2006 and was completed last month. More than 400 construction workers logged over 800,000 hours building the facility — the largest ethanol plant on the West Coast and one of the 10 largest in the United States..
Building trades unions say: "Enough talk. Build the bridge now"
Building trades union officials are scratching their heads over a resolution introduced May 27 at the regional Metro Council that, if passed, could scuttle a proposed $4.2 billion Interstate 5 bridge project spanning the Columbia River.  

Steelworkers ratify new contract at Cascade Steel
United Steel Workers Local 8378 reached a final agreement with Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, which members ratified May 30. After voting down an earlier company offer several weeks prior, members picketed outside the McMinnville plant and conducted a one-shift shutdown of the melt shop May 16
ATU 757 gets tentative deal at Bend Transit
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 officials reached a tentative agreement for a three-year contract covering Bend Area Transit workers employed by Paratransit Services, the contractor that runs public transit for the City of Bend. The union has scheduled a ratification vote on June 6.

Labor wins big in Oregon primaries

State and federal: Union backing makes the difference in several races
State and federal candidates backed by organized labor won big in Oregon’s May 20 primary. Every candidate running with the endorsement of the Oregon AFL-CIO won, including the two candidates for whom the state federation worked hardest: Jeff Merkley and Michael Dembrow.
Presidential: Obama wins Oregon Democratic primary
Change to Win members across Oregon waged an aggressive grassroots effort to help push Barack Obama to victory over Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton in the May 20 primary election. Obama captured 59 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 41 percent.
Local: Building Trades endorsements get mixed results
Nine of 12 candidates endorsed by the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council in the Oregon primary were successful May 20.
Local: Labor-backed candidates do well in Portland metro area city, county races
When ballots were counted May 20, most of the candidates backed by Portland-area unions won local government office. Most city and county races are non-partisan, and if no candidate wins a majority in the primary, voters pick between the top two in November.

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