August 7, 2009 Volume 110 Number 15

Fred Meyer goes green?
Left, Bob Childers and Shell Sherman, international reps for the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons Union, handbill the Hawthorne Fred Meyer store in Southeast Portland Aug. 1 during the store's grand re-opening celebration. Union officials assert that Portland-headquartered Fred Meyer and its corporate owner Kroger Co. of Cincinnati are cutting corners on remodeling by using out-of-state contractors who pay workers $12 an hour with virtually no fringe benefits — far below area standards set by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Stimulus dollars trickle slowly to local union workforce, if at all
Nineteen months after the current recession’s official start, and nine months after employment levels fell off a cliff, it can be very hard to see the effects of the federal government stimulus plan announced with so much fanfare earlier this year.
Employee Free Choice Act still on track, but delayed
A labor law reform long sought by the union movement — the Employee Free Choice Act — will have to wait a little longer. The U.S. Senate was expected to adjourn Aug. 7 until after Labor Day without passing the bill.
Washington AFL-CIO proposes to overhaul its approach to politics
Some Democrats in the state of Washington may find out next year whether there are consequences for backstabbing a core group of supporters.
Washington State Labor Council ranks state lawmakers
Washington State Labor Council has issued its 2009 ratings of state lawmakers, and the results make it clear it was a tough session for labor. Not one of the Washington Senate’s 49 members got a 100 percent rating, and just five of the 98 House members got 100 percent.
Nursing home pays cash settlement to fired pro-union receptionist
A Southeast Portland nursing home settled a series of federal unfair labor practice charges July 14, and agreed to back pay for Elizabeth Lehr, a receptionist who was fired after she supported a union campaign.
Steelworkers Local 8378 protests as Cascade Steel cancels recall
Cascade Steel Rolling Mills in McMinnville is trying to blame Steelworkers Local 8378 for blowing up a planned recall of 41 workers who have been out of work since April.
Hazardous work motivates IBEW commitment to Burn Center

Of the 300-plus cases Oregon Burn Center doctors see each year, electrical burns can be some of the worst. Residential wire carrying 220 volts can deliver a nasty shock, but a high voltage contact? That's another creature altogether.

Public employees 'shared sacrifice leads to tentative deal at State of Oregon
After eight months of bargaining — and a week after management had declared impasse — Oregon’s two largest public employee unions reached a tentative agreement on new two-year contracts with the Department of Administrative Services.

AFSCME 328 reaches new contract at OHSU
AFSCME Local 328 has reached a tentative agreement at Oregon Health and Sciences University. The union was on the verge of declaring impasse on July 30 when OHSU moved off some of its demands to reduce health insurance coverage.
City of Portland unions demand to bargain over layoffs, reorganizing at BDS
The District Council of Trade Unions filed a “demand to bargain” letter July 22 with the City of Portland, and is preparing to file several unfair labor practice complaints over layoffs and reorganization at the city’s Bureau of Development Services.

Labor council in Vancouver makes picks for August primary election
Ballots have been sent to residents eligible to vote in this month’s Washington primary election. The deadline to return ballots is Aug. 18.

Tackett nominated to take helm at labor council
Bob Tackett, a 35-year member of Steelworkers Local 330, was the only person nominated for the position of executive secretary-treasurer of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council at the July 27 monthly meeting of delegates.
Longtime Bakers Local 114 Rep Gene Beaudoin to retire; Shad Clark hired
Gene Beaudoin, a union representative of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 114 in Portland, is retiring after 17 years at the union. His successor is Shad Clark, a former president of the local and a 16-year member employed at Franz Bakery in Portland.