Help us send a message to President Obama – Fair Trade

5.7 Obama Event FINALStatement by Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain Stop the Fast Track to Lower Wages

In response to the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority in the U.S. Senate today, Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain issued the following statement:

“Workers across Oregon are standing up for higher wages but Congress is considering legislation that will speed through corporate-driven trade deals. For decades, we’ve seen how fast-tracked trade deals devastated our communities through lost jobs and eroded public services. Oregon can’t afford another bad deal that lowers wages and outsources jobs. That’s why Congress must reject Fast Track and maintain its constitutional authority and leverage to improve the TPP and other trade deals.

Trade deals have wide-ranging impacts and shouldn’t be negotiated behind closed doors and then rubber-stamped.  The current Trans-Pacific Partnership deal under discussion would cover 40 percent of the world’s GDP.  In Oregon we have lost thousands of jobs to bad trade deals already. We can’t afford another bad trade deal.

A deal this big should be debated in a full and open manner like every other piece of legislation.  Working people are showing tremendous courage standing up to the low-wage, corporate agenda.  It’s time for the members of the Oregon congressional delegation to do the same.”

It is time for us to take action against these thieves

Bill Martin, Clerk Craft Director, Portland Oregon Area Local

I had the honor and pleasure of attending the Oregon Postal Workers Union convention as a delegate for our Portland Local.  The convention was held last month in Salem, and included other stewards and officers from locals across the state.  Also in attendance were Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzalez and National Business Agents from the Clerk, Motor Vehicle Services, and Maintenance Divisions.  Omar Gonzalez spoke about the contract negotiations that are currently occurring in Washington, D.C. and the impact that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) may have on U.S. jobs, including the USPS.

If you have not taken the time to contact your Congressperson, asking him or her to oppose the Fast Track authorization of the TPP, you need to do so – now.  Senator Wyden has stated that he fought for protections for American workers and our environment during negotiations, but will not provide any specific details of what those protections might entail.  We cannot sit idly by while multinational corporations are given the ability and authority to challenge any business that they feel infringes on their right to make a profit.  If you somehow believe that these types of trade agreements will have no impact on you as a USPS employee, you are sadly mistaken.  I imagine all of us have some family members or friends who are struggling in today’s job market, and there is little reassurance that the TPP will not cause Oregon and Washington to lose even more working-class jobs.

rally-4

It is no small coincidence that we have witnessed the increased strength of corporations and their manipulation of our elections, our courts, and our legislature while their profits have continued to climb.  They fight to weaken organized labor because we stand in defiance to their unbridled greed.  We have witnessed their prosperity grow unchecked while the average American worker struggles with low-wage, low-benefit, part-time employment.  We allow “talking heads” in the media to portray us as “lazy, greedy, and overpaid” because we demand to bargain for our wages, hours, and working conditions.  We listen while pundits talk about “corrupt” union bosses and the need to “break” the union’s power.  Corporations control the message, and sadly, sometimes we hear these twisted lies so much that we begin to repeat them or believe them.  Please, do not.

Some of our elected politicians will tell us that we cannot afford good schools, strong infrastructure, health care for all citizens, or even the finest mail delivery in the world.  All the time we are being told that we must learn to make do with less, these corporate entities reap profits for their shareholders at a pace previously unseen and collect subsidies from our tax dollars.  Something is very wrong with this forced austerity, and I wonder how much longer the majority of our citizens will allow this to continue.

It is time for us to take action against these thieves.  You need to get involved.  You need to do something.  Attend one Local Union meeting this year.  Participate in a rally in your town to show support for our cause.  Talk to your friends and family members about the importance of “good service and good jobs” at the USPS.  Call your Senator or Congressperson.  Write them a letter.  Tell them you do not support bad trade agreements, and you do not want them to support bad trade agreements either.  Tell them you do not want delayed mail.  Tell them you want six-day delivery.  Tell them you want them to stop closures and consolidations of mail processing facilities. Tell them you want them to support a worker’s right to organize and collectively bargain.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising the Grade – Donate to the Oregon Scholarship fund

Every year through the generous support of members and locals of the Oregon Postal Workers Union, college bound young adults are awarded scholarship assistance.

Help continue the tradition and purchase a raffle ticket. All proceeds to benefit the Oregon Postal Workers Union Scholarship fund. Every dollar is worth one entry into the raffle.

OPWU Scholarship raffle ticket

Adidas offers APWU members March discount

American Postal Workers Union Adidas Employee Store Pass Mar 2015

Here’s how it works:

You print out the shopping invitation for yourself and complete the bottom portion. You may share the shopping invitation with family and friends. Access to the store is unlimited during your allotted shopping duration; however, you must bring a copy of your shopping invitation each time.

You bring the completed shopping invitation with you to the Employee Store. A physical copy of the shopping invitation or smart phone email must be presented to gain entry into the store, no exceptions. You will be asked to present your completed shopping invitation to enter the store and at check-out.

This discount only applies at the adidas Employee Store located in the adidas Village at 5060 North Greeley Avenue.

To have access to the store, you simply need to bring a physical copy or smart phone email of the shopping invitation that has been sent to your organization. During the time period that your group has been invited to shop, you are not limited to the number of visits or the number of guests you may bring. If your group has questions about the shopping invitation, please have them contact the adidas Employee Store at 971-234-8536. (This info is on the shopping invite as well.)

*Some exclusions may apply

adidas Village Employee Store

5060 N. Greeley Ave.

Portland, OR 97217

Contract Negotiations Begin

Report by Omar Gonzalez, Western Regional Coordinator

Bosses to Union- “NEXT?”

At the start of contract negotiations covering more than 200,000 postal workers, postal bosses revealed they have little interest, if any, in bargaining over issues critical to Union negotiators.

When the Union’s Chief Negotiator submitted the union’s first proposal over “service standards and consolidations” the Postal henchman was quick to say management would listen but negotiations over this and other subjects are not mandatory. Management’s Spokesperson declared the Union’s proposal as being “permissive” a legal term indicating the issues could be discussed but not bargained over. Then in an indifferent tone the postal boss asked what’s “next?”

Other Top Priority Issues

The Union made it clear it wants to deal with consolidations, subcontracting, expansion of products like postal banking, and curtailment of approved Shipper programs.

The Union also asked management to declare a Moratorium on consolidations and service standard changes. The postal spokesperson responded- “I will tell you tomorrow”. He then failed to show up the following day for another round of talks. Management is still set to involuntarily reassign thousands of employees in April and July of this year throughout the country.

Management Slow To Respond

The Union had issued a demand for information and documentation in November 2014 on employee leave, employee debts, tort claims, retail Non Traditional assignments, hazardous internal reviews and other issues. In typical fashion , management had attempted to bill the union for the information then waived the alleged costs to produce the information. However, they had failed to produce the requested information three months later in time for the start of contract talks.

So Much Is At Stake

“Too many of our members take their benefits and contract rights for granted not realizing just how much is at stake,” declared Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez. “Lay Off Protections; bid assignments; cross craft work restrictions; 50 mile excessing radius limit, Cost of Living Adjustments, Sick & Annual Leave, holidays, seniority and even the very grievance procedure we are accustomed to are subject to agreement being reached on a new contract,” said the Regional Coordinator.

Battle Expected

Postal bosses signaled no real interest in negotiating over subcontracting retail services declaring they had stamps at stores for decades. Meanwhile, the Union is set to propose improvements over job placements, eReassign, seniority, excessing , non traditional assignments and other work floor matters while preparing for a show down in arbitration if no agreement is reached on a new CBA.