Oregon voters won't see an anti-worker measure on the ballot this year — but the fight isn't over yet. Big money extremists are already preparing for the next attack.
Thanks to the hard work of labor unions, community leaders, advocates, and everyone else in between who cares about the wellbeing of all Oregonians, we’ve won major victories for working families, with universal paid sick days and a minimum wage increase. Because of that, corporate interests and out-of-state millionaires struck back against Oregon workers with initiatives designed to limit workers’ ability to advocate for safe working conditions, fair pay, and better workplace policies.
These attacks largely came from wealthy out-of-state interests — like Loren Parks, the former Bill Sizemore donor and single largest donor in Oregon political history — and were attempts to keep profits high while undermining the middle class.
Luckily, the forces behind these attacks recognized that Oregonians want to protect workers, not tear them down. The initiatives proposed by these out-of-state interests would never have garnered enough support to win in November, so they have decided to stand back and withdraw their initiatives for the November 2016 ballot.
Finally, one year without a measure attacking working families on the ballot! We should celebrate, but then we should get ready. These corporate interests haven’t disappeared; they’ve just punted their fight to another day.
“We will have to bring this back another day.” — Jill Gibson, chief petitioner of IP 69, in response to the withdrawal of that initiative from the 2016 slate
If history proves itself to be a signifier of things to come, we can be sure to see more anti-worker initiatives in 2018. We need to get ready for the next round of fights — more lawsuits, organizations attacking unions door-to-door, new legislation, more ballot measures… attacks can come from all angles. The only way to prepare ourselves for what’s next is by working together to educate our friends, families, and especially our co-workers about the wealthy and out-of-state extremists who are threatening working Oregonians. We need to tell people about the next round of fights, and remind people why unions matter to all workers.