Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current, January 06, 2006, Page 4, Image 4

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Freightliner lays off
130 just before
Christmas break
Four days before Christmas, Port-
land truck maker Freightliner told 130
workers they would be out of a job —
effective at the end of their shift on
Dec. 22.
“We had heard some rumors (about
a layoff), but we didn’t expect it until
sometime in January,” said Joe Kear, a
business representative of Machinists
Lodge 1005, which will lose 109 jobs.
Also affected were seven members
of Sign Painters and Paint Makers Lo-
cal 1094, six Teamsters, four janitors,
members of Service Employees Local
49, and four non-union office workers.
“We didn’t have any time to plan
for this,” said Kear. “The workers were
called in on Wednesday and told that
their last day was Thursday.”
The Swan Island plant was shut
down for the holidays, so the the laid-
off workers did receive paychecks
through Jan. 2.
Labor’s Community Service
Agency, AFL-CIO, met with workers
on Dec. 22 to provide them informa-
tion about retraining and other serv-
ices available to them.
Freightliner said reduced demand
for its Western Star Trucks forced it to
cut production in half — to 22 trucks a
day. The Portland plant at Swan Island
is the only location where the com-
pany produces that brand. Workers
will continue cranking out 74 trucks a
day, increasing output of Freightliner-
brand trucks that include the Class 8,
heavy duty Coronado, and military ve-
Freightliner-brand trucks require
less manpower to build, Kear said.
Kear said Freightliner predicts the
demand for Western Star Trucks will
pick up late in 2006 and that workers
could be recalled then.
Freightliner LLC, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, em-
ploys 1,700 workers at the truck plant
and another 1,800 at is corporate head-
quarters in Portland.
Mike Lappier spent 17 years working
at USI and learned of the layoffs in a
meeting with management last month.
USI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Portland-based Harder Mechanical,
which is also a signatory contractor
with six construction trades unions.
USI general manager Dick Kerker-
ing didn’t return calls by the NW Labor
Press, but Steve Harder of Harder Me-
chanical did. Harder wouldn’t confirm
or deny the report of layoff and closure
plans, saying only that the company is
still considering its options.
Universal Structural constructs and
pre-assembles the girders that go into
bridges. The company’s work can be
seen in a number of well-known
bridges, including the Hoffstadt Bridge
over the Toutle River on the scenic
Spirit Lake Memorial Highway to Mt.
St. Helens.
The company may have run into dif-
ficulties in its bid on a renovation of the
San Francisco Bay Bridge. The project
is enormous and complicated, and has
faced political delays and cost-overruns.
USI was part of a consortium of com-
panies that bid on work.
“These guys have been busting their
ass on this job, working seven days a
week,” Lappier said, “and then it's
Terry Lansing
elected to lead
Bakers Local 114
Terry Lansing has been elected fi-
nancial secretary-treasurer of Port-
land-based Bakery, Confectionery, To-
bacco Workers and Grain Millers
Local 114. He was appointed to the
post in November 2004 following the
Retired Secretary-Treasurer Noel
Johnson hired Lansing as an assistant
business agent in 1990. Lansing was
elected business agent representing re-
tail bakery workers from 1992 to
2004. The local’s Executive Board
tapped him to fill the unexpired term
of Financial Secretary-Treasurer Lau-
rel Koch, who retired Nov. 10, 2004.
Beaudoin, a Portland native, is
starting his fifth term as an elected
business agent. He joined the Bakers
Union in 1976 at Franz Bakery, where
he was a shop steward. He held vari-
ous positions on the union’s executive
board, culminating with his election as
president in 1990.
Beaudoin was appointed business
representative in 1992. He has been re-
elected to the post ever since.
Bakers recognize longtime activist
Earl Cox (holding plaque) was recognized for 38 years of membership and
participation in Bakers Union Local 114 of Portland during a recent meeting
of the union’s executive board. Cox, who retired Oct. 1 from the Safeway
Clackamas bread plant, served the union as a shop steward, executive board
member and, most recently, as vice president of the local. Shown from left to
right are Local 114 President Georgene Barragan, Secretary-Treasurer Terry
Lansing, Cox and Business Agent Gene Beaudoin.
retirement of Laurel Koch. His elected
term is for three years.
Georgene Barragan was re-elected
president and Gene Beaudoin was re-
elected as business agent of the 1,000-
member union that represents prima-
rily wholesale and retail bakery work-
ers in Oregon.
Also elected to Local 114 posts
were: Vice President Mike Connelly,
Recording Secretary Shad Clark, Ex-
ecutive Board members Charlotte
Freeland, Joel Kundert, Marilyn
Michael, Nancy Milner, Claudine
Pruitt and Jeff Wesson; Trustees Shar-
ron Rainey, Sharon Graham and
Brenda Kenderdine; and delegate
Terry McCleery and alternate Shad
Mail ballots were counted Dec. 13.
All terms are for three years.
Lansing has been a member of Lo-
cal 114 since 1976, where he worked
as a packer at Williams Bakery. He
was a shop steward at the plant and
served on the union’s Executive
Board, as recording secretary, and as a
The Labor Education and Research
Center (LERC) of the University of
Oregon will present a labor education
program Jan. 8-12 in Portland to help
union officers and reps prepare for ar-
“Arbitration: Preparation and Pre-
sentation” is an intensive four-day
seminar that will assist participants in
all aspects of the grievance arbitration
process, including principles of con-
tract interpretation and discipline and
discharge. Participants will prepare
and present a simulated grievance case
to a practicing arbitrator. The session
will be videotaped and critiqued.
For more information, call Barbara
Byrd at 503-725-3296 or Marcus
Widenor at 541-346-2785.
10th annual Labor
Law Conference
scheduled Jan. 20
Iron Workers #516
faces shut down at
Universal Structural
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Universal
Structural, Inc., a Vancouver steel
bridge fabricator, laid off 50 workers in
December, and has plans to lay off the
remaining 110 and shutter its doors in
That’s the understanding of the
union, anyway. Iron Workers Shop-
men’s Local 516 Business Manager
LERC schedules
arbitration class
Jan. 8-12 in Portland
Holiday spirit at Machinists Hall
As they have done every year for at least the past four decades, members, staffers and retirees of Machinists District
Lodge 24 in Southeast Portland spent the morning of Dec. 20 packing food boxes for distribution later in the week to
out-of-work members. The food boxes included all the necessities for a grand holiday meal, including a turkey,
potatoes, vegetables and rolls. The food boxes also contained two whole chickens, 10 pounds of hamburger, canned
goods and boxed food items. “We estimate that each food box was worth $100,” said Dan Sass, secretary-treasurer
of District Lodge 24. This year the union prepared and distributed 35 food boxes.
The 10th annual Oregon Labor Law
Conference will be held Friday, Jan.
20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Electrical
Workers Local 48, 15937 NE Airport
Way, Portland.
The conference is sponsored by the
Oregon AFL-CIO, Local 48 and the
Columbia-Pacific Building Trades
Council and is designed for business
managers, business agents, organizers
and union officers to get the latest in-
formation to avoid legal liability and to
better serve members, said organizer
Norman Malbin, general counsel for
Local 48.
Speakers will include Oregon Labor
Commissioner Dan Gardner and
Richard Ahearn, regional director of
the National Labor Relations Board in
Registration is $60 and includes
lunch and materials. For more informa-
tion, call Donna Marshall at 503-889-
JANUARY 6, 2006