July 1, 2005  Volume 106 Number 13

City leads tenant revolt against non-union cleaning contractors
Pictured left, a supporter of “Justice for Janitors” takes part in an annual protest event in downtown Portland June 15. The current target is a trio of buildings managed by developer Melvin Mark. SEIU Local 49 picked that day to make its announcement that two tenants in one of the Melvin Mark buildings have said “enough is enough” and are asking permission to find their own cleaning company.

Neither free nor fair: Union elections violate U.S. democratic standards
Most American workers say they would like to have a union in their workplace, according to polls. Yet most don’t actually have a union in their workplace. What’s preventing the majority from getting what it wants?

Wyden and Smith cast deciding votes for CAFTA in committee
In a test vote June 14, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden broke ranks with seven fellow Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee with his vote to approve CAFTA in the form in which it was presented by the Bush Administration on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. The committee vote was 11-9. A “no” vote by Wyden would have resulted in a 10-10 tie that would have dealt a blow to the Bush Administration’s drive to pass the trade treaty.

Iraqi unionists tell Portlanders of hardships and repression
Union members and others in Portland heard accounts from two Iraqi trade union leaders June 22, accounts that suggest that the anti-union policies of the Bush Administration have been exported to occupied Iraq.

Union fights plan to outsource custodial work at Hillsboro schools
To save money, Hillsboro School District — Oregon’s fourth largest — is proposing to contract out 58 custodial and grounds-keeping jobs. Assistant superintendent Betsy Biller told the Northwest Labor Press the savings would come from lower benefits.

Labor snubbed in PDC search; selection of hotel developer delayed
Portland Mayor Tom Potter has appointed businessman Sal Kadri to fill the fifth and final slot on the Portland Development Commission. Potter had indicated after his election last November that he would appoint someone from organized labor to the commission, which is the development arm for the city.

Richard Beetle elected business manager of Laborers Local 483
Longtime union activist Richard “Buz” Beetle won election as business manager of Portland Laborers Local 483, defeating incumbent Wayne Marine in a June 15 union election.

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