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Weekly Update: Workers Memorial Day

Workers Memorial Day

Every year we take April 28th to commemorate the lives of workers who were killed on the job.

This year the service will be held at noon on Thursday, April 28th at the Workers Memorial plaza outside the entrance of the Labor and Industries building at 350 Winter St NE in Salem along the Capitol Mall.

"We commend the Oregon companies who continue to work with their employees to ensure our workplaces are safe.” Said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain.  “As our economy picks back up it is crucial that Oregon employers continue to prioritize safety at the workplace - anything else would be unacceptable and undermine the years of work we all have put in to strengthening protections at the workplace.”

This year, Workers Memorial Day coincides with the 40th anniversary of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.  The act was a much needed and long overdue step forward for the labor movement, but the fight for safe workplaces is far from over.  At last year’s service, President Chamberlain spoke to attendees about why annual observations are held:

“Today we stand in support of families who have lost loved ones on the job, and hope that one year we will see a Worker's Memorial Day when there are no names to read."

This year Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler will read the names of the Oregonians who died at work and in service of our country.

In Other News...

Summer Leadership Training for Union Women

Join the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) this summer for the 30th Annual Western Regional Summer Institute for Union Women (SIUW).   This year, the institute will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii.  

The SIUW provides a supportive learning environment which encourages women in the labor movement to network and share ideas, strategies, information, and experiences.  This year’s program focuses on standing together in solidarity.

Oregon AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and LERC Program Coordinator Barbara Byrd explains what the institute’s participants will gain from the week-long program:

“This is a school that’s been actively training rank-and-file union members to take on leadership roles within our region for 30 years. It brings together union women from all walks of life, all kinds of unions. They come together for a week; they learn new things, develop new skills and get motivated to take on more responsibility with their local unions.  They gain more confidence, network and form lasting relationships that they can draw for support in the future.”

Find out more about the program, and about LERC online at http://pages.uoregon.edu/lerc/

Pride at Work Update

Pride at Work is the newest constituency group of the Oregon AFL-CIO and is working toward full equality for all LGBT workers at worksites and within local unions.  The group is also focused on educating the LGBT community about the benefits of joining a union and the importance of working under a union contract.

Cleve Jones, a longtime labor activist who founded the AIDS memorial quilt and worked as an intern with Harvey Milk, will be at the next meeting to talk about the importance of bridging the LGBT and labor communities.  Please pass the word along to anyone interested, and join us on April 20th, from 6:00-8:00pm at the office of UNITE HERE local 9 at 1125 SE Madison Ave in Portland.  

Learn more about Pride at Work online at: http://www.prideatwork.org

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