September 19, 2008 Volume 109 Number 18

Job security key in strike by Boeing Machinists
Nearly 27,000 Machinists who assemble commercial airplanes and components at Boeing plants in Washington, Oregon and Kansas walked off the job Sept. 6 after voting by an 87 percent margin to reject the company's "last, best and final" offer, and to strike.

[Left, Machinists Lodge 63 members Ed Garcia, Mark Goins and Steve Gentry walk picket line at the Boeing plant in Gresham.]

Who’s best for workers: Merkley or Smith?
Democratic Oregon House speaker Jeff Merkley is challenging two-term Republican incumbent Gordon Smith for U.S. Senate. It could end up a close race, in which votes from union households make the difference. Smith has tried to cultivate an image as a moderate, but he has opposed a labor agenda often enough that most unions are backing Merkley. Just one union has endorsed Smith.

Labor group steps up campaign to counter anti-union TV ads
Responding to months of anti-union television commercials, the union-supported group American Rights at Work has launched a $5 million nationwide ad campaign aimed at building public support for the Employee Free Choice Act. The ads started airing on Labor Day and will run several times a day through Sept. 28.