A broad coalition of labor and community leaders has come together to stand up for Oregon’s workers, and to ensure that standards are improved for every worker in the state. Research shows that when a state has strong unions, the standard of living is raised for everyone, and that isn’t limited to employment benefits or work schedules: States with strong unions also have safer workplaces, stronger worker protection laws, and a stronger middle class.
Billionaire donors and CEOs know this. Across the nation, proponents of anti-worker policies — like the Koch brothers — are attacking workers’ ability to come together and form a union. These coordinated anti-worker attacks are shortsighted efforts to boost corporate profits at the expense of the middle class. While these efforts claim to just target unions, corporate CEOs know that weaker unions mean lower pay and reduced benefits for workers across the board— and that means CEOs and shareholders get to take home an even bigger piece of the pie.
We’ve seen coordinated attacks occur in 27 states, including more than 30 federal lawsuits, several bills filed by legislators, ballot measure filings and the like, all designed to expand the disparity between profitable corporations and the workers who serve them.
After witnessing attacks on working people play out across the country for decades, anti-union campaigns are coming to Oregon. Despite being rejected by legislative leaders and voters, out-of-state billionaires and corporate interests are reviving Bill Sizemore’s old ideas for the 2016 ballot to threaten Oregon’s working families. They’re behind at least four ballot measures that aim to cut benefits and wages while boosting corporate profits. The measures would take away the local control of workers who decide to form a union — and once workers can’t democratically decide to work together, it becomes harder to fight for better staffing levels, modern equipment, and safer working conditions. Workplace injuries and deaths are more common in places where anti-worker measures are in place, and workers see lower pay and fewer benefits in states that don’t have basic union protections.
If these powerful corporate interests have their way, Oregon workers will see lower wages and reduced benefits; our workplaces will be more dangerous; there will be less money circulating in our economy; and worst of all, there will be more power in the hands of those who are already at the top.
If we want to fight back against shortsighted approaches to boost profits at the expense of our well-being, we need to stand up for the unions that stand up for our workers. We need to stand together to defend our voice, good jobs and fair pay. Unions are the champions of the middle class, and we know that they are what will protect our state against anti-worker attacks. That’s why we’re standing together to Keep Oregon Working.