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Oregon

State Agency Met Privately With Oil-By-Rail Firm Ahead Of Permitting

Oregon state environmental regulators are deciding whether to issue an air permit for a contested oil-by-rail operation in Portland, a site that received local approval after a deal worked out in private between the company and city officials. Now, new documents show that the state agency also met privately with the company before the application was submitted.  The agency said the meeting was informational and involved no commitments. But for groups that oppose oil-by-rail in Portland, the documents add to the sense that multiple layers of government are favoring the company’s interests over public health and safety. 

More Than 400 Lab Professionals At LabCorp Win A Union

Portland, OR - The lab professionals employed by the medical lab services company, LabCorp of America, held a union election from March 1-3 where 434 workers voted to join together in a union with the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP), a local affiliate of the 1.7 million-member AFT. These healthcare professionals work at labs within seven Legacy Health facilities in Oregon and Washington, including Emanuel and Good Samaritan in Portland, and Salmon Creek (WA). “I am excited that lab professionals at LabCorp have finally won a union and can now advocate for better wages, benefits, and working conditions,” says Meagan Hollis.

How Portland Teachers Led The Longest K–12 Strike In Decades

We’ll never forget the day when we knew that we would win. It was 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 21, more than three weeks into the first-ever Portland, Oregon, teachers strike. We were rally marshals, tasked with walking ahead of the march to troubleshoot potential issues. Accompanied by the dull hum of a nearby freeway and the caws of seagulls above the Willamette River, we stood on the sidewalk waiting — hoping that a parade of educators would soon join us. They had every reason not to. As frustration mounted with district leaders and their refusal to address our demands for safe, equitable, and sustainable schools, so did skepticism of our union’s strategy.

Forest Defenders Declare Victory After 22-Day Tree Sit

Josephine County, OR – Environmentalists are declaring victory after occupying a stand of old growth forest for three weeks to prevent trees from being logged. Forest defenders launched a tree sit on April 1 to prevent Boise Cascade Wood Products, the timber company who bought the logging rights, from cutting a stand of mature trees which represents some of the last remaining intact old growth in the region. For 22 days, community members occupied a patch of old growth forest that sits inside the boundaries of the Poor Windy Forest Management Plan.

Forest Defenders Launch Tree Sit To Stop Old Growth Logging

Josephine County, Oregon — In rural southern Oregon, community members are reigniting a dormant battle against logging. On the morning of April 1, a group of activists walked onto federally-managed public lands set to be logged. Climbers scaled an old growth ponderosa pine and hoisted a wooden platform over 100 feet into the air, suspended from the tree. It’s from this perch that a protester is now blocking access to a swathe of old growth forest at risk of being cut down. The blockade is preventing logging that’s part of the Poor Windy Forest Management Plan.

Indigenous Community Care: Traditions Of Reciprocity

Today, Indigenous culture is sustained and celebrated in Southern Oregon through the leadership of people like Teresa Cisneros and Jasi Swick at the SOESD Indian Education program. They gather a group weekly in both Jackson and Josephine counties, and offer the chance for Native families to practice traditional ways, such as talking circles, stories, dances, crafting and beadwork. “As an Indian educator, there are two reasons that I am interested in the Offers and Needs Market: Social emotional learning and place-based education,” explained Teresa.

Strike Threat Wins In Confrontation Over Remote Work

When “Reclaim your Momentum” was unveiled as the theme for Portland Community College’s 2023 in-service training, it struck a discordant note with members of my union, the PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals. We hadn’t lost our momentum so much as we’d been subjected to two years of organizational restructuring in the midst of a global pandemic. The reorganization had concentrated power at the top, and now the college president was rolling out her plan to end the flexible work arrangements developed for the pandemic.

The US Postal Service Network Consolidation Plan

A core feature of U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan, “Delivering for America,” is an initiative to restructure the nation’s postal network by consolidating processing and distribution operations in regional centers, mostly in urban areas. In 2023, two years into the 10-year plan, USPS reported that the agency had committed $7.6 billion out of a total $40 billion restructuring budget and plans were on track to open 60 new Regional Processing and Distribution Centers across the country in the coming years. Through this consolidation plan, many postal processing and distribution facilities in smaller communities will be converted to Local Processing Centers with reduced functions.

As Israeli Genocide Continues: Protesters Stay In The Streets

Hundreds demonstrated in Center City Philadelphia on a rainy evening Dec. 3.  Called by the Philadelphia Palestine Coalition, the event started with a rally and prayer service in Rittenhouse Park, followed by a march that ended at 40th and Market streets for a solidarity rally with the Save UC Townhomes Coalition. Two sound trucks led the way, followed by lead banners calling out the murderous genocide, carried out by Israel but funded by the U.S., that has taken the lives of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza. Along the route, protesters stopped to call out two Zionist-run restaurants. They marched by the University of Pennsylvania campus, where activist students are under attack by university trustees with major investments in Israel.

50 Reasons Why Portland Teachers Are Striking

There are more than 4,500 educators and 45,000 students in Portland Public Schools (PPS) in Oregon —and that adds up to about 50,000 reasons why Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) members are going on strike tomorrow. These dedicated educators and students don’t have what they need—and deserve—to be successful.  Here are 50 more reasons:  REASON #1: Enormous Class Sizes: Portland teacher Tiffany Koyoma-Lane has had as many as 31 students in her third-grade class, competing for her attention. Frankly, not all of them get it. “The difference between 21 and 31? Every student and family gets less of me,” she says. Class size caps would improve learning, union members say.

First-Ever Strike For Portland Teachers Tackles Student Needs

The Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) walked out on strike today, closing 81 schools. The 4,500-member union is demanding more counselors, more planning time for teachers, more support for special education students, smaller class sizes, and increased salaries and cost-of-living adjustments. The union’s demands “are a paradigm shift for the state of Oregon,” said ninth grade teacher Sarah Mykkanen. “We aren’t just reacting to something negative, we are demanding a whole new view of what schools do, of how schools give students what they need.” The union represents classroom teachers in the Portland Public Schools.

Biggest Health Worker Strike In United States History Begins

On October 4, 75,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente facilities in several US states are set to go on strike for three days following the breakdown of contract negotiations last week. A coalition of several unions representing health workers in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington, DC is battling the nonprofit health giant for safe staffing levels, cost of living pay increases, and against a two-tier pay system that Kaiser is trying to introduce. The largest union in the coalition is Service Employees International Union (SEIU)-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) with 57,443 members, but the coalition also includes Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 30, SEIU Local 49, OPEIU Local 2 and others.

Portland City Government Privately Compromised With Oil Industry

In the summer of 2022, it seemed that the days of an oil-by-rail facility in Portland, Oregon, were numbered. The previous year, the city had rejected a land use permit for a company called Zenith Energy, which receives crude oil shipped by rail from as far away as North Dakota. Zenith had appealed the decision, but had already suffered a string of defeats in the state.  Climate activists and community associations, who were concerned about the risks associated with oil-by-rail shipments, counted the city’s rejection of the permit as a major victory, and were tantalizingly close to prevailing over the company.

Healthcare Workers Picket At 50 Facilities In Fight For New Contracts

Unions representing more than 85,000 healthcare workers have held pickets at 50 facilities across California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado amid new contract negotiations as their current union contracts are set to expire on 30 September. The negotiations at Kaiser Permanente are the third largest set of contract negotiations in the US in 2023, behind the 340,000 workers at UPS who will be voting on a tentative agreement this month that was reached days before planned strike action, and 150,000 autoworkers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis whose contracts are set to expire on 14 September.

PDX Maintenance Workers ‘Sit Down! Fight Back!’

Portland Airport (PDX) wheelchair attendants, baggage and service workers, cabin cleaners and janitors held a militant picket and sit-down protest June 28 on the United Airlines departures roadway. PDX maintenance workers are fighting for the right to sit down between tasks on the job. They are demanding respect, the right to a union at United, health insurance and more. A Passenger Service Agent told demonstrators: “Our jobs involve hard physical repetitive labor that puts us at risk of workplace injuries. We are also at risk of contagious diseases. Our public health care is insufficient, and workers comp is so complicated, we need a lawyer to use it.”
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