September 4, 2009 Volume 110 Number 17

Straight talk on the proposed health reform
For the first time in decades, Congress is looking at serious health insurance reform. But what the AFL-CIO regards as a compromise proposal is, to others, a frightening “government takeover” of health care.

[Left, Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain addresses a rally in downtown Portland for health insurance reform.]

Health care reform: Where do Oregon lawmakers stand?
Local members of Congress are in the thick of the national debate over health insurance reform. Five members of Oregon’s seven-member congressional delegation serve on House or Senate committees with jurisdiction over health reform bills. 
Operating Engineers 701, Carpenters form alliance
Operating Engineers Locals 701 in Oregon and sister Locals 302 and 612 in Washington have teamed up with the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters to create the 35,000-member Northwest Regional Council of the National Construction Alliance II.
Oregon AFL-CIO's Shepard runs for open Metro board seat
Duke Shepard, political director of the Oregon AFL-CIO, announced his candidacy for Metro Council, District 1. The seat is currently held by Rod Park, but he is term limited and cannot run for re-election in 2010.
Steelworker elected to lead Northwest Oregon Labor Council
Steelworkers Local 330 President Bob Tackett was elected executive secretary-treasurer of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council on Aug. 24.
Clark Skamania Klickitat CLC endorsed candidates advance to November election
Vancouver City Council candidates Jack Burkman and Anne McEnerny-Ogle advanced to the November general election after finishing in the top two in the Aug. 18 primary election. Both candidates were endorsed by the Clark, Skamania, Klickitat Central Labor Council. The labor council didn’t take action in a tight race for mayor, though several local unions did, on different sides.
Hundreds rally in Portland to support health insurance reform
Terry Shrunk Plaza in downtown Portland filled to the brim Aug. 29 for a rally in support of health insurance reform. The rally was organized by the union-backed campaign organization Health Care for America Now and by Organizing for America, President Obama’s support organization.