August 3, 2007 Volume 108 Number 15
Union-built gas-fired power plant goes online in Oregon
Portland General Electric’s new union-built natural gas-fired power plant in Columbia County is now online and able to generate enough energy to serve about 300,000 homes.

Construction unions seek level playing field on health care
Portland City Council will discuss a union-backed proposal Aug. 8 that would level the playing field for union contractors competing for city-funded construction projects. Contractors that don't provide full family health care for their employees would have to pay an equivalent hourly amount into a city fund. The fund would go to the Multnomah County Health Department to provide health care access to the uninsured construction workers.

As cases of ‘popcorn workers lung’ spread, unions demand action
There’s something in the popcorn. Government agencies say consumers are safe, but workers exposed day in and day out to diacetyl, a butter-flavored chemical additive, are coming down with severe lung diseases at an alarming rate. That includes workers in the chemical factories that make the stuff, as well as workers in plants making microwave popcorn.

Postal service unions pitch vote-by-mail to top elections officers
For several years, the U.S. Postal Service and its unions have been advocating that “vote-by-mail” replace traditional Election Day polling stations. In July, they took their message to a Portland meeting of state elections officials from around the country, and were backed up by Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.
New IBEW Local 48 business manager outlines goals and priorities
Portland-headquartered International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48 swore in a new business manager July 25. Clif Davis, 50, said his top priorities will be to establish a harmonious relationship with employers, set a tone for friendlier union meetings, and increase union market share in residential construction.