Weekly Update: A Stronger Oregon?
Stronger Oregon Day
Yesterday was Tax Day – typically a holiday for the 1% who aren’t paying their fair share – but across the state it was Stronger Oregon Day, where the 99% took to the streets. A variety of actions were held calling for wealth equality and a ‘Buffett Rule’ solution to the unbalanced tax rates which exponentially widen the gap between the rich and poor in our country every year. From Medford to Portland, Oregon stood up and spoke out.
Actions in Bend and Medford, sponsored by the Oregon Strong Voice coalition, focused on the difference between taxes paid by individuals and the multi-national corporations and financial institutions who exploit loopholes to pay no taxes. In Medford, postcards demonstrating that difference were presented to managers at Bank of America and Wells Fargo – banks which have paid no taxes in the past while bringing in record profits.
The Portland Metro area saw a wide range of actions as well, including a rally to save America’s Postal Service. The Postal Service has been legislatively forced to pay into retirement accounts well in advance of demand for them, a practice that has eaten up its usual profits and put the service into debt. Participants at the rally called for an end to this unnecessary financial burden on a vital public service that typically operates at a profit, without drawing on any tax dollars.
Click here to see photos from Stronger Oregon Day.
In Other News...
Colombia Free Trade Agreement
Spanish-language media around the continent picked up on an important story that English news services seemed to ignore: the backlash against the Colombian Free Trade Agreement, which is set to begin on May 15th, has been growing from both the labor movement and other workers’ organizations. The national AFL-CIO along with Colombian labor federations issued a statement this week explaining the many ways in which the Labor Action Plan within the FTA is too limited and will not widely ensure needed protections on workers’ rights and human rights in Colombia that will keep trade more fair and stop the exploitation of workers.
Read the full statement here.
Mark your calendars and don’t miss these upcoming events:
Workers’ Memorial Day Observances
Monday, April 23, 7:00pm
IBEW local 48 - 15937 NE Airport Way, Portland
The Northwest Oregon Labor Council will hold a memorial service at its monthly delegates meeting, including a presentation of colors by the Oregon Military Funeral Honors Program and a speech from Michael Wood, administrator of Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Thursday, April 26, 12:00pm
Labor and Industries Building, 350 Winter St. NE, on the Capitol Mall in Salem
The Oregon AFL-CIO will hold a service at the Fallen Workers Memorial on the State Capitol Mall in Salem. The service will feature bagpiper and drum corps from the Oregon State Defense Force Pipe Band and speeches from labor leaders along with a representative from Governor Kitzhaber’s office.
March Against the War on Women
Saturday, April 28, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Oregon State Capitol
Conservatives from Wisconsin to Arizona have launched attacks against a myriad of women’s rights in the past year, and it’s time to speak up and fight back as part of a national day of protest. Get all the details here.