21, 2006 Volume
107 Number 16
passes complex pension bill, chock full of special favors
In July and August, the U.S. House and Senate approved what Massachusetts
Senator Ted Kennedy called "the most important action to safeguard
the retirement of hard-working Americans in a generation." But the
new law does nothing to stop the overall decline of guaranteed pensions,
said the national AFL-CIO. And it's crammed with unrelated measures
and special favors to a handful of industries.
fired custodians will return to Portland school district this fall
the day of decision arrived Aug. 4, 141 custodians declared they want
to return to work at Portland Public Schools. Four years ago, the
district fired 330 custodians and assigned their work to an outside
janitorial contractor. Meanwhile, the Custodial Civil Service Board,
the tail that wagged the dog, is being quietly reconstituted.
wants to talk more about construction wages
Portland Development Commission will hold public hearings to consider
whether there should be an agency-wide policy on construction wages
paid on its development projects. Hearing of that decision, Bob Shiprack,
executive secretary of the Oregon Building and Construction Trades
Council, said he was struck speechless.
worker pay cut dies in Senate
in seven states, including Oregon and Washington, dodged a bullet
Aug. 3 when the U.S. Senate failed to pass a Frankenstein bill that
the House passed July 29. Oregon's Senator Gordon Smith effectively
voted in favor of the bill to cut estate taxes — and the wages
of tipped workers.
releases interim COPE voting records for ‘06
So far this year,
Oregon’s Democratic congressional delegation has some of the
best voting records of any state on issues tracked by the national
AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education. The scorecard is
not the official document for 2006, but rather a running record of
votes that were of interest to the AFL-CIO as they pertain to working
people. The AFL-CIO’s interim scorecard tracked 24 bills and/or
amendments to bills that were voted on before Congress recessed for
the summer on Aug. 4.
11 contract protects workers from Northwest Natural’s cost-cutting
On Aug. 3, NW Natural
introduced a "new operations model" to cut costs and remain
independent. The model includes eliminating as many as 150 jobs over
the next two to three years.
regular column by Tim Nesbitt
health plan for desperate Democrats
you want an example of health care reform gone wrong, don't look
to Washington, D.C., where Republicans and Democrats have been arguing
over marginal, market-based reforms like health savings accounts.
Look to the blue
state of Massachusetts.