August 4, 2006  Volume 107 Number 15

Machinists strike at Cummins NW continues

Members of Machinists Lodge 1005 picket July 31 at Cummins NW in Portland. The strike started July 7 after the company’s new owner voided contracts with the Machinists and Teamsters at facilities in Portland, Pendleton, Renton, and Spokane, and quit paying into the pension fund. The new owner wants open shop language in any new pacts. More than 100 workers are on strike, including 23 in Portland.

Minimum wage bill would cut pay for tipped workers
In the dead of night July 29, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive multi-issue bill — without having read it. The bill, supported by Rep. David Wu, would cut wages for tipped workers in Oregon and Washington and grant a tax giveaway to wealthy heirs and heiresses.
Oman Free Trade Agreement passes; NAFTA-style trade deals proliferating
In June and July, Congress approved yet another NAFTA-style trade agreement, this time with a sultanate.

Senator Smith heeds call of 2,300 union members in ‘Kentucky River’ cases
U.S. Senator Gordon Smith, (R-Oregon), ended his silence July 31 by asking that the National Labor Relations Board hold oral arguments before issuing any rulings on three pending cases known collectively as “Kentucky River.”

Oregon AFL-CIO backs Kulongoski for re-election
The Oregon AFL-CIO wasted little time endorsing Gov. Ted Kulongoski for
re-election at its meeting July 25 in Portland. Kulongoski failed to get its backing in the May primary when he faced two labor-friendly Democratic opponents. But Kulongoski won the primary and now faces a well-financed anti-union conservative Republican.

Sizemore files anti-union initiatives for 2008 ballot
Despite unpaid judgments, labor foe and convicted racketeer Bill Sizemore is still trying to hurt unions at the polls. Sizemore has filed initiative petitions with the Oregon secretary of state’s office calling for the repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law and making Oregon a so-called right-to-work state in which the union shop is banned.
Portland school custodians’ return remains murky
Just over a month before the school year begins, it wasn't clear how many of the roughly 330 custodians the district fired in August 2002 would choose to return.
Labor and environmentalists come together
Unions are beginning to join forces politically with environmental groups around a common agenda of good jobs and a clean environment.

Think again
By Tim Nesbitt
Bill Sizemore’s born-again accountability
At first glance, it looked like a case of born-again accountability. Or jailhouse redemption. Or just plain chutzpah. Here was Bill Sizemore, the guy whose organization was convicted of racketeering for using forged and falsely-obtained signatures on initiative petitions, complaining that we haven’t done enough to clean up the initiative process.

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