Tag: labor

Protesters Target Postal Privatization, Demand Corporate Mail Theft End

Story by Jamie Partridge • Photos by Jerry Atkin Over forty demonstrators, ten of whom blocked the entrance to the Portland Air Cargo Center (US Postal Service), declared victory against “postal privatizers”  today.  According to postal service managers, several morning mail runs by subcontractor Dill Star trucking were disrupted by the protest. ”Postal truckers, mail…

Big Grain Shuts Out Longshoremen Struggling for Workplace Equity

Story and photos by Pete Shaw Columbia Grain locked out ILWU Local 8’s grain handlers on May 4 in Portland, accusing them of “engaging in inside game’ tactics, including slowdowns, work-to-rule, and demands for repeated inspections of the same equipment – all designed to negatively impact Columbia Grain’s operations.” Late the next day, twenty of…

ILWU Strength Imperiled by Dangerous Course

Story and photos by Pete Shaw A crowd of over 200 Longshore workers, other union members, and community supporters rallied at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA, on March 8 in support of ILWU Local 4 grain handlers locked out of their jobs by United Grain Corporation in late February. After some speeches, the assembly,…

The Choice In Portland: Austerity Versus a People’s Budget

By Mark Vorpahl It’s no secret that most cities, counties, states and school districts in the U.S. are facing big deficits. What is less understood is the extent to which austerity cuts have become politicians’ bipartisan response to the situation. The dramatic measures being implemented in Portland, Oregon are no exception. By “austerity” is meant…

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…

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,…

Labor’s Call to Action: The Grand Bargain Betrayal

By Shamus Cooke The labor movement is in terminal crisis. After decades of declining membership the union movement has been targeted for destruction: private sector union membership is near eradication, and now the corporations are on a public-sector mopping up mission, using the city, state, and federal budget deficits as an excuse to target public…

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…

Workers Protest At Fund For Public Interest Research

Story and photos by Pete Shaw Banging pots and pans and getting the support of passing cars honking horns, 160 supporters of workers from the Fund for Public Interest, the paid fundraisers for OSPIRG and Environment Oregon, marched along SE Grand and Morrison on November 14th, demanding employees be treated with dignity and respect. Fifteen…