July 4, 2008 Volume 109 Number 13
Think it’s easy to form a union? Think again
Federal law gives workers the right to join a union. But in most workplaces, employers turn workplaces into war zones when union organizers appear: 91 percent of employers force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors; 49 percent threaten to close the worksite if workers formed a union; and 30 percent fire pro-union workers.

Students replace full-time Portland school custodians
Portland Public Schools told the union representing custodians that it would hire 100 high school students at minimum wage to do custodial work 20 to 40 hours a week. At the same time, the district is reducing its full-time permanent custodial workforce by 40 positions. Workers to be laid off were given the option of converting to part-time status —at $11.01 an hour with no benefits.
Workers at Vancouver Hilton Hotel get first contract with UNITE HERE Local 9
Workers at the Hilton Vancouver Washington hotel and convention center ratified their first-ever union contract June 26, bringing to a close a two-year long contract campaign. Workers there joined UNITE HERE Local 9 in June 2006.

Legal settlement returns union organizer to bakery
Thanks to a settlement brokered by the National Labor Relations Board, Georgene Barragan returned to Bread Song Bakery June 24, six months after she was fired for failing to reveal past union experience on her job application.