The Oregon AFL-CIO convention convened this year in Bend, Oregon. Held every two years the convention gathers unions from all over the state to act on resolutions and strengthen the solidarity amongst the diverse groups that make up the AFL-CIO.
The APWU was represented by Brian Dunsmore from Portland, Wendy NesSmith from Eugene, and Linda O’Donnell from Bend. We were also joined by leaders from the carrier and mailhandler crafts.
The convention was outstanding. We heard from several state and national leaders including Governor Kitzhaber, Senator Jeff Merkley, American Federation of Teachers national president Randi Weingarten, and the National AFL-CIO Secretary/Treasurer Liz Shuler who happens to be from Gladstone, Oregon. Almost every speaker spoke about issues affecting us as postal workers and many expressed their support for our causes. It was surprising to hear the postal service come up so often but that is a result of the hard work and efforts of so many to make the public aware of our plight.
The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists put forward a resolution titled the “Postal Service Protection Act”. The CBTU previously passed this resolution at their 2013 convention and now the Oregon AFL-CIO and its affiliates have pledged their support. The resolve reads “that the Oregon AFL-CIO will lobby and urge its affiliates and members to lobby their local congressional House and Senate legislators for the passage of Senate Bill 316/House Bill 630.” I know I speak for the entire Oregon APWU delegation when I express my sincere gratitude to the CBTU and the AFL-CIO for their support.