By Peter Toll
Labor Day always reminds me of this question. It also reminds me of my first labor strike in the 1950s when I was 16 years old and had just gotten a real job as a box-boy (grocery bagger) at the local A&P supermarket.
Greeting me on my second day of after-school work was a big padlocked chain across the store’s door. Huh? What is this? I need to go to work. I need gas for my beater of a car. What the . . . ?
Postal Heritage Day is July 26th. Below is a flyer that describes the event. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Main Post Office located at SW Hoyt and Broadway in Portland. Speakers include Senators Wyden and Merkley and Representatives Blumenauer and Bonamici.
With unions facing unrelenting attacks from conservatives, I encourage all to participate in these events when possible. Also a reminder to you all that on Labor Day at Oaks Park there is an annual labor union event that we all need to support. We are planning to have a DPCC table at the Labor Day event to show our support.
The DPO is hosting a program to increase awareness on the history and basics of the Labor Movement and union structure for all who want to more fully understand how and why unions are important to us all. Additional topics will include:
- BOLI Commissioner’s Job
- Labor Candidate School
- Diversity and Equity
When: Saturday, April 7, 9am – 1pm
Where: IBEW 48
15937 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97230
For details of the program, see the poster here.
Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, TN, the day prior to a planned march through downtown in support of Memphis public employees who were seeking to create a union. He understood that civil rights and union rights were both required to have human rights.
The march proceeded when Coretta King arrived to take her husband’s place. The Memphis public employees marched through the streets with signs that read, “I AM A MAN.” These signs conveyed the thought that these workers were not being treated as human beings and that by birth they were entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Continue reading
Ken Allen, long-time executive director of AFSCME Council 75 in Oregon, sees Oregon union membership starting to swing upward again. The message bears repeating.
Clackamas County has a good archetype of opposites on the fall ballot. Democrat Scott Mills, a long-time trade union member and Aurora city councilor, is challenging Republican Vic Gilliam in House District 18; it stretches from just outside Canby all the way into southern Marion County. Rep. Gilliam brings a big wallet to the race, tending to reflect his political philosophy of more for the rich and less for everybody else. Mills, chair of the local painter’s union, is gaining confidence, despite a strong Republican edge in voter registration. Forty percent of the district is in Clackamas County.