skip to main content

Thursday, June 1, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Alabamans urge a grocery tax reduction, a tape shows Trump knew about a classified document on Iran, Pennsylvania puts federal road funds to work and Minnesota's marijuana law will wipe away minor offenses.

play newscast audioPlay

Democrats say a wealth tax would help alleviate some national debt, lawmakers aim to continue pandemic-era funding for America's child care sector, and teachers say firearms at school will make students less safe.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Nearly 2,000 Portland Janitors Approve Strike

play audio
Play

Monday, June 27, 2016   

PORTLAND Ore. - Nearly 2,000 janitors in the Portland metro area authorized a strike over low wages and a lack of access to affordable health care last Friday. The custodians don't want to be priced out of Portland, where the cost of living has been on the rise, including the cost for a home, which has led the nation this year.

Mark Medina, a custodian and member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 49, said janitors have three concerns in negotiations with five of Portland's biggest cleaning companies.

"Three paramount issues for our members was work rules, health care, and wages," he said. "And on these three, the offers that the companies have given us have been meager to say the least."

Medina said companies have offered to increase janitorial wages by 20 cents an hour over the next year. However, the union does not feel that's enough to cover the rising cost of living in the city.

Workload and safety are other big concerns. Bryan Leeder, also a member of SEIU Local 49, works as a janitor in downtown Portland, wants policies in place to make sure staff are not overworked.

"We want some specifics in language about covering for employees who are absent, instead of just dumping double the workload on one person because somebody is sick or on vacation," he said.

Medina said the rising cost of housing in Portland and flat wages has pushed him and some of his colleagues out of the city.

"You see wealthier people moving into the downtown area and everything, and then you see workers who live in Gresham, who live in Vancouver, who live in Forest Grove coming into downtown, coming to the Portland area to work," he added.

Janitors in Hillsboro and Vancouver, Washington have also approved a strike if a settlement isn't reached.


get more stories like this via email

Human rights advocates point out in 2023, North Dakota adopted nearly a dozen laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Human rights voices are calling attention to new North Dakota laws deemed hostile toward LGBTQ+ individuals, saying it is part of a movement led by …


Social Issues

play sound

In eastern Kentucky, advocacy groups are expanding summer learning opportunities for families. Isolation and learning loss plague many rural …

Social Issues

play sound

In 1968, Congress passed a law requiring the Food and Drug Administration to minimize people's exposure to wireless radiation, but the agency dropped …


Environment

play sound

Nevadans will have the opportunity to learn more and weigh in on a proposed public lands rule that shifts the Bureau of Land Management's focus to pri…

A recent U.S. Census Bureau analysis found South American (46%) and Cuban (35.9%) groups had higher levels of bachelor's degree attainment than all other Hispanic-origin groups in 2021 and for the entire 16-year period.(AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

In Tennessee and across the country, the rapidly growing Hispanic population made remarkable strides in college enrollment and educational attainment…

Social Issues

play sound

The moment Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping elections bill into law last week, several voter-advocacy groups filed lawsuits against it…

Health and Wellness

play sound

An Indiana licensing board has fined a local physician $3,000 and handed her a letter of reprimand after she went public about a 10-year-old Ohio pati…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021