July 3, 2009 Volume 110 Number 13

Promoting IBEW Local 48
In a lighthearted effort to increase union “brand awareness,” International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48 is renting a pair of billboards with the slogan “Keep Portland Wired.”

Labor’s agenda made progress as Oregon Legislature adjourns
Despite a tough economy, organized labor made progress on a jobs-and-justice agenda in the 2009 session of the Oregon Legislature, which ended June 29.
Union foes file initiative petition to ban card-check
Russ Walker, vice chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, and Kim Thatcher, a Republican member of the Oregon House from Keizer, are chief petitioners for a proposed constitutional amendment that would establish a “right to a secret ballot” in public and private elections.
Former ATU 757 head Ron Heintzman to take number two post in international
Ron Heintzman, former president of Portland-based Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, has been appointed to the number-two position in his international union. Heintzman will be oversee 18 international vice presidents and four special representatives. He’ll also be in charge of the union’s organizing efforts, and he would be next in line if the international union presidency becomes vacant.
O'Connor to retire from Northwest Oregon Labor Council
Judy O’Connor, executive secretary-treasurer of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, will retire before her term of office expires in December 2011. Her last day will be Aug. 28. Nominations to fill her unexpired term will be held July 27 and Aug. 24. O’Connor says she will nominate Bob Tackett, Oregon AFL-CIO Workforce Investment Act labor liaison.

Siemens closes, 43 IBEW jobs lost
A Northeast Portland electric panel factory owned by the German multinational Siemens terminated its workforce and closed permanently June 30. The layoffs of the 43 assembly workers, members of IBEW Local 48, took place in stages in June.

NW Oregon Labor Council the latest union group to back single payer health care
The largest central labor council in Oregon has endorsed House Resolution 676, the single-payer health care bill introduced by Michigan Congressman John Conyers.
Optimistic AFL-CIO looks ahead
Judging by the mood at the June 19 meeting of the Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board, organized labor may be near a resurgence.
Sheet Metal Local 16 re-elects Phillips business manager
Members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 16 elected officers, in ballots counted June 25. The 2,300-strong union has offices in Portland and Eugene and members in both production and construction.