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Labor Day Message from Oregon Tradeswomen’s Executive Director

Original photo by Alfred T. Palmer – Image credit to United States Library of Congress

The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated in 1882, almost two decades before women had the right to vote and before the U.S. Department of Labor recognized the contributions of women to the Labor Movement by creating the Women’s Bureau. Nevertheless, women contributed to the Labor Movement before it was even called a movement.

Women like:

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, who was once called the “most dangerous woman in America”, fought to protect child workers and push for enforcement of child labor laws. She became an organizer for the United Mine Workers and stood up to big companies and organized coal miners to demand better conditions for workers.

Velma Hopkins, an African-American organizer with Local 22 of the Food, Tobacco, Agricultural, and Allied Workers of America-CIO. She mobilized 10,000 workers in North Carolina to unionize R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta, a labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. She was tireless in her fight for worker rights, immigrant rights, and women’s rights.

Frances Perkins who, having personally witnessed workers jump to their death during the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, helped to pass strong labor laws after becoming the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet as Secretary of Labor in 1933.

Ai-Jen Poo who worked to organize domestic workers in 2000, and was key in the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in New York. The bill legitimated domestic workers and gave them the same lawful rights as other employees, such as vacation time, and overtime pay.

Hattie Canty, the legendary African-American unionist was one of the greatest strike leaders in U.S. history. After her husband died, she raised eight children on her own and dedicated her life to improving the working conditions of others. She fought for a living wage and for the engagement of People of Color in the Labor movement. Her patient leadership helped knit together a labor union made up of members from 84 different nations!

 

The women noted here are just a few of the very many who made sacrifices for worker’s rights. 

As we mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Women’s Bureau, Oregon Tradeswomen would like to honor them, and all who have fought and continue to fight for our nation’s workforce. 

Oregon Tradeswomen is grateful for our partners in the Labor Movement, here in Oregon and across the country who work tirelessly for worker’s rights, dignity, and justice. We are with you in the fight today, and always, as today we honor our nation’s workers!

 

Kelly Kupcak, Executive Director
Oregon Tradeswomen

Posted on by OTI Staff in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY TASK FORCE SHARES FREE ONLINE RESOURCES TO HELP PROTECT AGAINST COVID-19

Seeking to increase job safety awareness and to help protect workers against the COVID-19 pandemic, a joint task force has published free resources for the construction industry. The resources provided by the COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force include a safety checklist, best practices, and photographs.

Best practices: 
http://www.oregonbuildingtrades.com/covid-19-safety-best-practices/

Safety photographs: 
http://www.oregonbuildingtrades.com/covid-19-safety-photographs/

From April 15 through May 7, groups of five to seven task force members, assisted by an Oregon OSHA consultant, visited nine job sites in Portland, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Salem, Eugene, Oregon City, and sites in Eastern and Central Oregon to assess job safety practices addressing COVID-19 and to make recommendations for improvements.

The task force is a partnership of union and non-union industry professionals, with support from Oregon OSHA. The group meets twice a week to monitor health information and government guidelines, and to collect data and information. It will continue to coordinate job site visits as long as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order is in place.

“The construction community recognizes the need to work together across all areas of development to protect our workers, the public, and visitors to our job sites,” said Mark Long, CEO of Oregon Home Builders Association. “It is gratifying to be part of a group of industry professionals committed to bending the curve of the COVID virus while contributing to Oregon’s economy.”

“We depend on the skilled pipe-fitters and plumbers working for Charter on our project sites and fab shops,” said Cordell Tietz, president of Charter Mechanical. “It is critical that we have a safe environment for our employees, so they can continue to take care of our customers’ needs. This crisis has presented new challenges to all of us, and it’s been important and rewarding seeing our industry come together to keep people working safely and completing critical projects.”

Task force members:

For general questions about the construction task force, contact Mary Ann Naylor at Oregon Tradeswomen, maryann@tradeswomen.net

Task force contacts:

Robert Camarillo, executive secretary, Oregon State Building Trades Council: robert@oregonbuildingtrades.com

Mike Salsgiver, executive director, Associated General Contractors – Oregon Columbia Chapter: mikes@agc-oregon.org

Mark Long, chief executive officer, Oregon Home Builders Association:
mark@oregonhba.com

Paul Philpott, political representative, Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters:
pphilpott@nwcarpenters.org

Mary Ann Naylor, communications & marketing director, Oregon Tradeswomen: maryann@oregontradeswomen.net

Aaron Corvin, public information officer, Oregon OSHA:
aron.corvin@oregon.gov

Posted on by OTI Staff in Community Partners | Leave a comment

CONSTRUCTION TASK FORCE: COVID-19

TASK FORCE LAUNCHED TO ASSESS AND SHARE CONSTRUCTION JOB SAFETY PRACTICES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

[PORTLAND, OREGON, April 24, 2020] — Aiming to increase job safety awareness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon State Building Trades Council has launched a task force to help construction contractors follow current guidelines and protect workers while continuing to do business.

The COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force – encompassing representatives from the building trades unions, industry partners, management, and employer representatives– has been meeting online three times a week and scheduling visits to various construction sites in Oregon.

A group of five to seven task force members, assisted by Oregon OSHA consultants, are visiting sites to assess the effectiveness of job safety practices intended to address COVID-19 and to make recommendations for improvements. All task force members and Oregon OSHA consultants will practice social distancing while visiting construction job sites. At the same time, the task force – an advisory group – is monitoring the most current health information and government guidelines, and collecting data and information about best jobsite practices. This data and information will be shared with construction contractors and workers.

“The safety of the people who are out there working on construction sites is our highest priority,” said Robert Camarillo, executive secretary for the Oregon State Building Trades Council. “With this task force, our goal is to improve job safety and increase educational resources during an incredibly challenging time.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order – issued in response to the coronavirus outbreak – does not include construction among the businesses that must close.

The COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force is a partnership of union and non-union industry professionals, with support from Oregon OSHA. Its membership includes:

  • Associated General Contractors-Oregon Columbia Chapter
  • Central Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Columbia-Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Hoffman Construction Company
  • Lane, Coos, Curry, Douglas Building & Construction Trades Council
  • O’Neill Electrical Construction
  • Oregon Home Builders Association
  • Oregon OSHA
  • Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Oregon Tradeswomen
  • Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Pendleton Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association
  • Salem Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Southern Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council
  • University of Oregon Labor Education and Resource Center, LERC
  • Worksystems

Download a .pdf of the press release

For questions about the construction task force, contact:

Mary Ann Naylor, communications director
Oregon Tradeswomen
maryann@tradeswomen.net

 

Individual Contacts:

Robert Camarillo, executive secretary
Oregon State Building Trades Council
robert@oregonbuildingtrades.com

 

Mike Salsgiver, executive director
Associated General Contractors – Oregon Columbia Chapter
mikes@agc-oregon.org

 

Matt Swanson, political coordinator
Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters
mswanson@nwcarpenters.org

 

Mark Long, chief executive officer
Oregon Home Builders Association
mark@oregonhba.com

 

Aaron Corvin, public information officer
Oregon OSHA
aaron.corvin@oregon.gov

Posted on by OTI Staff in Community Partners, Public Policy | Leave a comment

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