August 6, 2010 Volume 111 Number 15

Decision nears over closure of PGE Boardman coal plant
IBEW Local 125 mobilizes to save members jobs, as PGE proposes closure to avoid expensive environmental retrofits.

[Left, IBEW Local 125 member Russ Scholl, 37, would like to spend the rest of his career at the Boardman Coal Plant. But that seems more and more unlikely as regulatory requirements prompt PGE to consider closure dates.]

Casino supporters say valid signatures were tossed; judge agrees to hearing
Chief petitioners of a labor-endorsed petition to build a privately-operated casino in Wood Village filed a lawsuit after the Elections Division determined that the initiative lacked enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

City draws road map for new marine terminal
Portland City Council passed a resolution July 29 to develop a legislative proposal for annexation of West Hayden Island — to protect 500 acres as open space and identify 300 acres for future deep water marine terminal development.
Unions weigh in on Washington primary races
Southwest Washington unions are contributing money and volunteer time to help endorsed candidates, including incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, who faces two-time Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi. Several unions have endorsed Vancouver Democrat Denny Heck to replace Congressman Brian Baird, who is not running for re-election. The race is being closely watched by national Democrats and Republicans.
City of Portland tries to pry concessions from workers, including overtime
Leaders of the 1,800-member District Council of Trade Unions say the City of Portland is trying to use tough times in the economy to extract contract concessions that have nothing to do with the city’s finances, including the elimination of cherished union gains like the eight-hour day and protections against contracting out members’ jobs.
Leupold & Stevens worker gets back pay, but firing chills Machinists campaign
Machinists District Lodge 24 helped a worker at Beaverton-based Leupold & Stevens get a cash settlement and an offer to return to his job after he was fired a few weeks into a union organizing drive.
ATU Local 757 contract at TriMet likely to be determined by arbitrator
Union workers at TriMet, Oregon’s largest transit agency, may soon test a new process for resolving contract disputes. Under a union-supported state law, transit district employees can’t strike; instead both sides submit their final offers to an arbitrator, who picks whichever is most reasonable  
Endorsements: AFL endorses Schrader; AFSCME backs Hughes; SEIU for Kitzhaber
The Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Committee voted to endorse Kurt Schrader for re-election to U.S. Congress. And AFSCME Local 3580, representing employees at Metro, is backing Tom Hughes for Metro president. SEIU endorsed Democrat John Kitzhaber for governor.
Davis re-elected business manager of IBEW Local 48
Clif Davis defeated Barry Mitchell in a run-off election for business manager/ financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48. The vote was 912-619. Ballots were tallied July 13.  
Carpenter starts union homebuilder business
A sluggish construction market has turned Carpenter Zak Silva into a union homebuilder. The 30-year-old member of Carpenters Local 1388 started ZNK Homes, LLC in June 2008, after he was laid off as a superintendent for LCG Pence Construction.