Category: News & Current Events

Longshore Struggle Brews On Both Coasts: Trouble in the Northwest

By Mark Vorpahl Second of two parts In the Northwest, at the terminals on the Columbia River, Puget Sound, and Portland, Oregon, the membership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are on the defensive against the Northwest Grain Handlers Association (NWGHA). The conflict involves nearly 3,000 workers at terminals that handle a quarter…

Community Home Defenders Sit In to Persuade Sheriff to Step Up

Story and photos by Pete Shaw “Some of us take risks. We’re asking you to take risks,” said John Schweibert to Multnomah County Sheriff Daniel Staton, during a sit in at the Sheriff’s office staged by Schweibert and four other community home defenders on January 24. Though Staton expressed his support for homeowners, he said…

GM Worker Willing to Die Seeking Labor Justice

By Pete Shaw If Jorge Parra lives to see the Portland Auto Show being held from January 24th through the 27th, he will have passed his 65th day on a hunger strike in support of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors-Colmotores (ASOTRECOL). Appearing at press conferences outside the North American International…

Longshore Struggle Brews On Both Coasts

By Mark Vorpahl First of two parts It’s a familiar pattern: those on top of the economic ladder enjoy massive profits while expecting workers to sacrifice even more for the “greater good.” This storyline weaves itself into every justification for anti-worker policies. From Washington’s potential Grand Bargain that would cut trillions from needed social programs,…

Threat to ILWU Rallying Point for All Workers

Story and photos by Pete Shaw The contract being offered to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) by the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association (PNGHA) has little effect on wages, but seeks vast changes to workplace rules, particularly those dealing with hiring and safety. Though the contract signing deadline of November 28 has been…

The Power Is With The People

Story and photos by Pete Shaw Sindy Avila is a member of the Oregon Dream Activists, a group working to advance immigrant rights and the rights of all people of color. Speaking at a forum about creating community control and putting radical politics into practice in communities of color, she noted that as the Dream…

Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?

Story by Pete Shaw “When is history not history?” asks Walidah Imarisha, at a recent Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? presentation sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project.  Imarisha, a Portland State University and Oregon State University instructor, poses the question to our group after we have spent 90 minutes examining, wrestling…