July 6, 2007 Volume 108 Number 13

Machinists strike Freightliner
Machinists at Portland's Freightliner Corp. walked off the job at 12:01 a.m. July 3 after members of Lodge 1005 rejected a three-year contract proposal. Key issues in the labor dispute are the stripping of supplemental retirement insurance benefits that would impact half the workforce and the addition of mandatory overtime during the weekday.

[From left to right, striking Machinists members Quin Pond, Wayne Poe, Joe Repic and Carl Pollack picket Freightliner.]

Legislature bangs gavel on banner year for Oregon labor
It was their best session in decades, though union leaders fault Senate Democratic leaders for some bills that didn’t make it.

Drywallers end strike with ratification of new contract
Drywall hangers and ceiling and interior specialists represented by a half-dozen Carpenters Union locals ended a two-week strike June 19 with the ratification of a new two-year contract that will provide hourly wage increases of $4.25 over the life of the pact.

Senate Republicans block vote on labor organizing bill
Although there was enough support to win on a straight up or down vote, Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked a vote on organized labor’s most important bill this session — the Employee Free Choice Act.
Del Monte raid puts Portland at center of immigration debate
A June 12 roundup of 160 illegal immigrants at a Portland fruit processing facility brought home a national shift in immigration enforcement. Increased numbers of undocumented workers are being arrested, but the companies that violate the law to employ them face little penalty. Local unions mostly stayed out of the immigrant rights protests that followed the raid at Fresh Del Monte Produce, though Oregon’s top labor official issued a statement, and the union-backed worker solidarity group Jobs With Justice joined in protests.
Unions to push vote-by-mail at national conference of state elections officials
With an assist from Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, two U.S. Postal Service unions plan to promote Oregon's vote-by-mail system as a model for other states at a Portland conference of statewide election officials.
State corrections officers stick with AFSCME union
Oregon AFSCME beat back a challenge from an independent union June 15, when ballots were counted to see who would represent a 1,669-member bargaining unit in the Oregon Department of Corrections. The result was 663 for remaining in AFSCME, 480 for joining the Association of Oregon Corrections Employees, and 4 for no union at all.
Local 757 members protest C-TRAN’s inadequate offer
Picket signs went up June 12 outside a C-TRAN board meeting in Battle Ground, Washington, as union transit workers protested a contract offer from the Clark County transit agency. Workers are being asked to take a pay freeze and pay out-of-pocket for their health benefits for the first time. This after the union helped pass a local transit tax measure two years ago, and after managers were given raises last year.

Clif Davis elected business manager of IBEW Local 48
Clif Davis has been elected business manager of Portland-based International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48. He defeated six other candidates, including incumbent Barry Mitchell

Six unions form Mechanical Allied Crafts, new council created in Oregon
Six mechanical industry unions have pledged to bring “a new era of customer commitment” through the creation of the Mechanical Allied Crafts Council. The council was established earlier this year by the general presidents of the Electrical Workers, Elevator Constructors, Insulators & Asbestos Workers, Iron Workers, Sheet Metal Workers, and the Plumbers and Fitters..

Warehouse fire doesn’t douse spirit of Red’s Electric owner Jim Ferris
Jim Ferris, owner of Red's Electric, was attending a dinner function following a meeting of the National Electrical Contractors Association when a cell phone rang. Dick Keil, an owner of West Side Electric, took the call. "What? Red's building is on fire!"

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