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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

Portland area security guards, janitors sign new union contracts

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Monday, July 8, 2024   

Members of the Service Employees' International Union start this week in the Portland area with new contracts for their work.

SEIU Local 49 members work as security officers and janitorial staff for some of the biggest employers in the Pacific Northwest.

The Portland team bargained for about a month and gained wage increases, additional paid leave, and health and safety improvements.

Renato Quintero, an SEIU member and a janitor at Intel, said they had to work hard to make these changes, but he thinks the effort was worthwhile.

"Those things are really useful for our work and for our family," said Quintero, "being able to have more money, and also time to enjoy our family life."

The new contracts will affect nearly two thousand workers in the Portland metro area. The union expects the wage increases to add $9 million to the local economy.

In addition to pay, union leaders say the new contracts come with a sense of recognition. They note people in these professions worked through the pandemic, and their jobs were considered essential.

Michael Lindsey, a union member and security officer with GardaWorld Security Services, said he sees these contracts as a step into the future.

"This is a new era for unions, especially coming out of the pandemic," said Lindsey, "and I'm excited to see what the next few years hold for us."

Lindsey predicted the new contracts will allow employees to focus on their jobs more. He said he also expects a decrease in staff turnover, which will result in an increase in staff experience.



Disclosure: SEIU Local 49 contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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