July 21, 2006  Volume 107 Number 14

Left: Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski joined 300 union members at a downtown Portland rally July 13 to call for public hearings before the National Labor Relations Board rules on a series of cases that could strip workers of their right to belong to a union. Earlier, Kulongoski’s staff delivered a letter to the Portland NLRB office signed by all the Democratic members of Oregon’s congressional delegation — and more than 2,000 Oregonians — asking for public hearings.

Transit Union TriMet contract comes to grief
Less than half-way through a six-year labor agreement with TriMet, union officers at Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 are complaining that the Portland-area public transit agency is breaking its bargain.

Machinists strike Cummins NW
Twenty-three service mechanics — members of Machinists Lodge 1005 — hit the picket line on July 7 at the Cummins NW's facility on Swan Island. The company has had a checkered past with the union, so workers are preparing for a lengthy strike.

Drivers for WHEELS hold one-day strike to save jobs
Drivers from Salem's WHEELS paratransit program held a one-day strike July 7. But the strike wasn't against their employer. It was to draw attention to the likelihood that Salem Area Mass Transit will give WHEELS' contract to a non-union bidder.
IBEW Local 659 ends 10-day strike at Eugene Water & Electric Board
Workers at Eugene Water & Electric Board returned to work July 14 through 17 with a tentative agreement that ended a 10-day strike. The unit of 156 workers unionized August 2003 and went on strike July 4, seven months after their first contract expired.
Qwest to close Portland call center, 160 CWA jobs will vanish
Qwest Communications has announced it will close its Portland customer service call center Oct. 13 and lay off 160 members of Communications Workers of America Local 7901. The announcement comes two years after state and local officials offered taxpayer-funded incentives to get Qwest to keep the center open.
Nursing home workers, operators agree to cooperate
After collecting more than 125,000 signatures for a ballot measure that would increase minimum staffing levels at nursing homes in Oregon, the union collecting the signatures decided not to submit them.

Tim Nesbitt joins Governor Kulongoski’s campaign staff
Former Oregon AFL-CIO President Tim Nesbitt has joined the re-election campaign of Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski. Nesbitt will serve as senior political adviser to the governor, advising him on policy initiatives.

AFSCME endorses Ted Kulongoski for re-election
"It's the most lengthly process we've ever undertaken," said Ken Allen, executive director of Oregon AFSCME.

Think again
By Tim Nesbitt
The fight-fire-with-fire strategy heats up another election
This will be a year when we get to repel the flickering arrows of the old curmudgeons like Don McIntire and shoot back with a hot, new idea that can make medical care more affordable for working families.

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