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NW Alliance Portal to NW Labor Press:

Fast Track traitors being uninvited from the Labor Day picnic (which they have been at every year) is a great first step.

Northwest Labor Press's photo.
Northwest Labor Press's photo.

Last night, Northwest Oregon Labor Council delegates resolved that members of Congress who vote for Fast Track will not be invited to attend or speak at this year's Labor Day picnic. That includes Ron Wyden, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, and Kurt Schrader.

Fair Trade or Bust Fast Track Protest

By Don McIntosh, Associate Editor 

The AFL-CIO has begun an all-out campaign to defeat “fast track” in Congress, and a vote on it is expected within days or weeks.

Fast track, also referred to as trade promotion authority, is legislation that would make it easier for Congress to pass more NAFTA-style trade agreements — including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a super-secret agreement being negotiated with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. Under fast track, when the president presents a trade agreement, Congress must hold an up-or-down vote within 90 days, with limited debate and no amendments.

If Congress passes fast track this time, the consequences could be enormous. TPP has been called “NAFTA on steroids” by its critics. It would cover almost 40 percent of the world’s economy, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

more at:

Staples boycott grows

Dozens of protesters carrying signs and banners marched inside a Staples store in Northeast Portland June 20, where they attempted to present a petition signed by 500 Portland residents who have pledged to boycott the office supply stores. The protesters are angry because Staples signed a no-bid, sweetheart deal with the U.S. Postal Service to staff postal counters inside its stores — at the same time the USPS is eliminating public post offices and reducing work hours.

Protesters enter StaplesA pilot program was launched in 82 stores last October (none in Oregon). USPS plans to expand the scheme to all of Staples’ 1,500  locations nationwide starting in September. Staples employees who work full time earn about $18,000 per year and receive minimal training on how to handle U.S. Mail, said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, which is spearheading the ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ campaign.

The AFL-CIO bolstered the boycott campaign with its endorsement last month.  The California Federation of Teachers was the first to sign on to the campaign in April, followed by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)-Michigan and AFT-New Hampshire. On June 23, delegates to the Northwest Oregon Labor Council voted to join the boycott. The American Federation of Teachers is expected to consider a ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ resolution at its national convention this month. Check here for the rest of the story:

NLRB says painting contractor broke federal labor law

By DON McINTOSH, Associate Editor

The owners of family-run Edwards Painting, based in Oregon City, may not want a union, but federal law says workers have the right to unionize whether an employer likes it or not. Judging by an 11-page complaint issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Feb. 27, the Edwards clan ran right over thatPainters District Council 5 organizer Scott Oldham says an Oregon City painting contractor called police when he showed up to pass out fliers. law.

Painters District Council 5 organizer Scott Oldham says an Oregon City painting contractor called police when he showed up to pass out fliers.

As outlined in the complaint, owners Gene and Connie Edwards and their son Grant, a foreman, repeatedly interrogated employees about their union activities during the summer of 2013. Workers were ordered not to “stir up union stuff,” were told that Edwards is not and will never be a union shop, and were threatened with termination if they attended a union meeting or were found to be union members. Grant Edwards told workers the company would have work for them through the winter — if they stopped talking about and trying to organize a union. He also told employees their working conditions would improve if they removed union T-shirts. The union is mafia, he told workers, and it’s trying to steal their work.

Edwards did some hiring, but refused to consider four pro-union applicants, including one who had decades of experience as a painter. Connie Edwards told applicants Edwards doesn’t hire union painters.
the rest of the story:

Union Organizing

After obstruction and delay, City of Portland ordered to proceed with union election for park rangers

City obstructed and delayed for a year, but now park rangers get to join DCTU…

Collective Bargaining

Portland State University professors authorize strike

AAUP says they’re ready to walk out to promote greater stability and defend faculty role in governance…

City of Portland workers voting on
tentative contract agreement

By DON McINTOSH, Associate Editor

After nearly a year of contentious negotiations, about 1,300 City of Portland workers had a chance to vote on a new union contract this week and last. They are members of the seven-union coalition known as the District Council of Trade Unions (DCTU). DCTU represents 1,583 City workers, but a little over 300 of those are “fair share” employees who chose not to join the union and therefore don’t get to vote on the contract.

The rest of these stories:
Pictures above include work by W Labor Press associate editor Don McIntosh, as published in NW Labor Press.


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