September 7, 2007 Volume 108 Number 17

A day for Union families
Left, union members and their families enjoy a rollercoaster ride Sept. 3 at Oaks Amusement Park. This year's Labor Day picnic in Portland, organized by Northwest Oregon Labor Council, drew a crowd estimated at over 15,000. The picnic featured the Patrick Lamb Band, professional wrestling, carnival rides, hot dogs and politicians paying homage to organize labor.

Senator Smith makes effort to court labor
Oregon Senator Gordon Smith made his first appearance before affiliates of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council since winning election in 1996. He has been invited several times in the past, but has always declined or not responded.

Oregon will release names of employers whose workers get low-income benefits
The state agency that administers food stamps and Medicaid has agreed to give Oregon lawmakers what some have been seeking for four years: the names of employers whose workers are getting public assistance.
Health care mandate for construction workers? Portland takes baby steps
In a surprise culmination to a year and a half of on-again, off-again meetings with several union leaders, Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams introduced a council resolution Aug. 22 that was almost nothing like what had been discussed.

Panel will measure use of academic part-timers
American Federation of Teachers-Oregon counted a small victory Aug. 28 in a years-long campaign against overuse of part-time college faculty. A state panel will study of just how much universities and community colleges use part-time faculty. AFT has seen a steady shift away from permanent full-time tenure-track faculty and toward term-to-term and part-time low-wage and low-benefit instructors.
City of Portland pledges to buy no sweatshop apparel
The City of Portland added its name to the list of “sweat-free” governments Aug. 29 when City Council approved a resolution backed by a coalition of unions and community groups.

AFSCME reaches tentative deal for 4,000 state workers
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Oregon Council 75 has reached a tentative agreement on behalf of some 4,000 employees at the State of Oregon. The two-year agreement includes a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment retroactive to July 1 and a 3.2 percent COLA on Nov. 1, 2008.

Meeting in Newport, building trades unions savor legislative victories
Construction union officials celebrated a successful legislative session Aug. 21-24 at the annual convention of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council.

Carpenters organizer allowed to leave U.S. on his own
A federal immigration case against a local union organizer came to a close last month. Mexican national José Cobián, known to friends by his assumed name José Luis Mendoza, was allowed to leave the United States on his own rather than be forcibly deported.

Labor Democrats back Merkley for Senate
Oregon Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner and six state legislators who are labor union members announced their support for Jeff Merkley for the U.S. Senate in the May 2008 Democratic primary.

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