August 1, 2008 Volume 109 Number 15

Caregivers of migrant children join Laborers 320
Employees at the Oregon Child Development Coalition in Washington County voted July 23 to join Laborers Local 320. The vote, conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, was 124-17 in a bargaining unit of 170 mostly Hispanic women.

[Left, OCDC workers celebrate the landslide vote in favor of unionizing.]

Sizemore operation faces new forgery allegations
Staff at a labor-supported watchdog group found what they think is evidence of forgery on initiative petitions sponsored by anti-union activist Bill Sizemore — after less than 40 hours of staff time spent combing through petition sheets.

AFL-CIO engaged in Washington's top-two primary
Ballots are due to be mailed out Aug. 1 to most Washington voters and are due back Aug. 19. It’s the first try-out of the state’s new “Top 2” primary, in which the top two vote-getters advance to the November general election, regardless of which party they belong to.
WSLC to convene in Vancouver
About 500 delegates from unions across Washington are expected in Vancouver, Washington Aug. 4-7 for the annual convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. The state labor council is considered the voice of labor in Washington, and represents 500 local unions with a combined membership of about 400,000.
Labor at table in U.S. plans to slow global warming
There are a lot of measures societies can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and which ones, and how, will have major impacts on workers throughout the economy. Some industries will be endangered, some will be transformed, and some will see tremendous growth.
Charles Lewis gets labor council endorsement in Portland city council election
Charles Lewis has been endorsed by the Northwest Oregon Labor Council in his race for Portland City Council. Lewis is in a November runoff against Amanda Fritz, a member of the Oregon Nurses Association. Fritz was the top vote-getter in the primary, capturing 44 percent of the vote in a field of six candidates. Lewis came in second, with 13 percent. NOLC endorsed former Carpenters Union representative Mike Fahey in the May primary; he finished fourth.

AFSCME Local 88 endorses Shiprack for Multnomah County Commission
Multnomah County Employees Local 88 has endorsed Judy Shiprack for county commissioner in District 3. Local 88 represents the largest bloc of union workers at the county, with about 2,700 members.

SEIU Local 49 finalizes contracts covering 1,900 Portland janitors
Service Employees Local 49 in July finalized two contracts covering about 1,900 of the Portland-area’s 2,300 union janitors. A master agreement with nine employers covers 1,700 workers, and a first-ever contract with a local ServiceMaster franchise covers about 200 employees. The four-year master agreement includes employer-provided health insurance for janitors’ children, for the first-time
Portland area grocery pacts expire, UFCW braces for war
Grocery and meat contracts in the Portland metropolitan area expired July 26, but workers — members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 — are still on the job under contract extensions.
Group presses Oregon to enact ‘sweat-free’ policy
Anti-sweatshop activists are hoping to persuade Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski to enact a “sweat-free” policy by executive order. Sweatfree Northwest wants uniform vendors to disclose which factories are making the uniforms, and to declare that to the best of their knowledge, no local labor laws are being violated in those factories.
‘Unity Team’ goal is to aid in organizing
The Oregon AFL-CIO is trying to find ways to help affiliated unions organize nonunion workplaces. The effort — dubbed the Unity Team — brings together unions that are interested in organizing, so that they can share resources.