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About Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 17, 2006)
Office staffer wraps up 40
years at IBEW union halls
A retirement party for Anita Stam-
mer, longtime executive assistant and
secretary at International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers Local 48, will be
held Friday, March 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. at
the NECA-IBEW Training Center,
16021 NE Airport Way, Portland.
Stammer spent her entire working
life at IBEW — starting at age 18 as a
secretary for IBEW Local 49, which
represented sound and communications
electricians. In 1984, she left to go to
work for Local 48, the construction lo-
cal. Four years later, Local 49 merged
with Local 48.
“I was born into IBEW,” said Stam-
mer, who worked for nine elected busi-
ness managers, including her brother,
Greg Teeple, who left for a position
with the IBEW international union.
Her father, Herman Teeple, also was
a business manager of Local 48 and he,
too, left to take a job with the interna-
Anita Teeple met Roger Stammer,
also a member of Local 48, after grad-
uating from Portland’s Grant High
School. They married in 1965. Their
daughter, Jenni Roth, works in the Kent,
Wash., office of the Pacific Northwest
Regional Council of Carpenters.
The high point of Stammer’s union
service came in 2001, she said, when
...Wal-Mart leads way in
taxpayer-paid health care
she attended the 36th International Con-
vention of the IBEW as an invited guest
— along with her father and brother.
The low point came one day later, when
the conventioneers learned of the ter-
rorist attacks of Sept. 11.
For many years, Stammer was a
member of Office and Professional Em-
ployees Local 11 and once held the
elected post of sergeant-at-arms.
New political party gains momentum
The campaign to form a new union-
backed political party in Oregon con-
tinues to gain momentum.
Representatives from a dozen unions
and allied organizations have been
meeting to plan the launch of the party,
which would be called The Working
Families Party of Oregon, after a similar
party in New York. A similar effort is
under way in the state of Washington.
On Jan. 26, the Working Families
group filed a statement with the Oregon
secretary of state that they intend to col-
lect signatures to achieve ballot-line sta-
tus as a minor party. Currently, that
takes 19,000 signatures. They plan to
gather 30,000 by April 25, so as to be
able to run candidates in the November
2006 election. The group also formed a
political action committee — Oregoni-
ans for a Working Families Party — to
raise money for the effort. And they put
up a Web site — www.oregonwfp.org
— where people can get more informa-
tion and sign up to help.
As of press time, Working Families
founders were also weighing whether
to try to get an initiative on the Novem-
ber 2006 ballot that would return “fu-
sion” voting to Oregon. Under fusion
voting, parties can use their ballot line
to run their own candidates or to en-
dorse those of other parties.
In New York, the Working Families
Party uses its ballot line to endorse De-
mocrats, and occasional Republicans,
who support its agenda, and occasion-
ally runs its own candidates.
(From Page 1)
of the 29-store chain Brown & Cole
“The real problem here — the public
is picking up the tab for what should be
Wal-Mar’s responsibility,” he said.
The number of Americans without
health insurance continues to climb —
from 41 million in 2000 to 46 million
in 2004, according to government sta-
tistics — even as more corporations are
cutting back employer-based health
In 2000, 69 percent of firms nation-
ally offered health coverage to workers,
but in 2005 that percentage dropped to
just 60 percent. In fact, more than a
quarter of all firms with more than 500
employees don’t offer employer-based
health insurance for workers and their
families, according to a study by the
Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan
private foundation that supports inde-
pendent research into health care issues.
As more firms drop health insurance
coverage, workers, taxpayers and other
businesses are forced to pick up the tab.
Some workers buy their own health in-
surance or pay out-of-pocket for health
care costs. Other workers and their fam-
ilies are forced to turn to such taxpayer-
funded programs as Medicaid or the
State Children’s Health Insurance Pro-
gram, costing taxpayers some $21 bil-
lion a year, according to the Common-
For example, 46 percent of the chil-
dren of Wal-Mart’s 1.33 million U.S.
workers are either uninsured or on
Medicaid, according to Wal-Mar’s own
information. In addition, fewer than half
of Wal-Mart’s workers have health care
coverage on the job.
As a result, many Wal-Mart workers
and their families turn to emergency
rooms and other public health services
as their only health care option. In 12 of
the 13 states where data has been re-
leased and analyzed, Wal-Mart workers
rely on public health programs more
than workers from any other company
in those states.
The Commonwealth Fund also esti-
mated employers with employee health
coverage are forced to spend about $31
billion a year to cover the cost of em-
ployees shifting the health care costs of
their uninsured family members to their
(Editor’s Note: The national AFL-
CIO contributed to this report.)
President, UFCW Local 1442
Trustee, UFCW Food Employers Trust Funds
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FEBRUARY 17, 2006
NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS
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