Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 4, 2006)
Let me say this about that
NLRB poised to ‘promote’
...He traveled the world many of us to supervisor
GOODSELL IS SURVIVED by three daughters, Ann Goodsell of Cam-
bridge, Massachusetts, Kate Marquez of Klamath Falls, and Molly Goodsell of
Boulder, Colorado, and a sister, Gnan Wheelock of Wilsonville. He is also sur-
vived by three grandchildren, Jessie Marquez of Eugene, Michael Lebowitz of
New York City, and Ariel Johnson of Boulder; and two great-grandchildren,
Samuel and Jackson DiChiara of Eugene. His late sister Helen Baldwin’s grand-
daughter, Tammy Baldwin, is a member of Congress representing Madison, Wis-
Goodsell was cremated and his ashes were to be scattered on mountain trails
and perhaps in the Pacific Ocean at Astoria. There was no funeral, but family and
friends were to gather in the backyard of the Goodsell home in Twisp on Aug. 3.
The event was to include live jazz by musicians who were friends of Jim’s.
By RICK S. BENDER
Washington State Labor Council,
In the United States, you don’t have
the freedom to form a union if you are
in management, or are considered a su-
For decades, employers have been
trying to drive truckloads of American
workers through that cavernous loop-
hole by swelling their ranks of “assis-
tant managers” and the like. The simple
goal is to prevent them from banding to-
gether and negotiating for better wages
and working conditions.
Well, the Bush-appointed National
Labor Relations Board is poised to ex-
pand that loophole, making it big
enough for tractor-trailers.
NLRB rulings are expected this
summer in three cases known as the
“Kentucky River decisions” that involve
charge nurses in a hospital and nursing
home and lead workers in a manufac-
turing plant. But they represent just the
tip of the iceberg.
The NLRB will redefine who can be
considered “supervisors.” Until now,
supervisors were generally those who
had the power to hire and fire. But many
anticipate a new broader interpretation
that will include any skilled or experi-
enced worker who occasionally or inci-
dentally oversees or assigns the work of
those less skilled.
The decisions will affect construc-
tion workers, painters, welders, electri-
cians — workers in nearly every indus-
try. A new Economic Policy Institute
analysis estimates the rulings could
strip as many as 8 million Americans of
their union protection or block them
from ever joining one.
In other words, many of us will wake
up one morning this summer with the
same job and responsibilities we had
the day before, but we will have lost our
freedom of association with our co-
If you don’t think this threat to your
fundamental rights is real, talk to a
nurse at Virginia Mason Medical Center
in Seattle. The hospital recently at-
tempted in court to reclassify all 600 of
its registered nurses — every single one
— as supervisors, and therefore not el-
igible to speak with a united voice about
their working conditions and patient
care issues through the Washington
State Nurses Association.
Hundreds of nurses and their sup-
porters rallied outside Virginia Mason’s
front door, and the hospital ended up
backing off its legal strategy — for now.
But a hospital administrator told one re-
porter they were “waiting and watch-
ing” for the NLRB decisions before de-
ciding whether to pursue re-class-
Virginia Mason’s reprehensible ac-
tions should serve as a wake-up call to
all of us. Some employers are watching
these decisions and prepared to pounce.
AUGUST 4, 2006
NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS
(From Page 2)
who was elected to the U. S. Senate, defeating an incumbent Republican in a vote
count that took days to complete. Jim’s first wife was Portland writer Jane Neu-
berger Goodsell. Their marriage, which produced three daughters, ended in di-
vorce in 1971.
GOODSELL LEFT the Democratic job to work as a reporter at the Oregon-
ian, but departed from there when the Labor Press editorship became available.
Fourteen years later, he moved from the Labor Press to become director of the
Portland regional office of the U.S. Department of Commerce. After five years, he
was transferred to Washington, D.C., to work in Commerce’s office of export pro-
motion. Subsequent foreign assignments took him to countries in Europe, Latin
America and Asia.
In 1972, Goodsell’s governmental career moved him into the American Foreign
Service. His first posting was to Australia where he served as director of the U.S.
Trade Center in Sydney from 1972 to ’77. His next assignment took him to Milan,
Italy, as director of the U.S. Trade Center from 1978 to ’81. While working at Mi-
lan in Northern Italy, Goodsell and wife Dee lived in a villa on Lake Como, an area
where Pliny the Elder, an ancient Roman scholar, had lived. After Dee became al-
most blind, Jim transferred from Milan to run the U.S. Commerce Department of-
fice in Cleveland, Ohio, so that his wife could receive medical treatment at vari-
ous facilities and also learn to use a guide dog. Their move to Twisp followed.
FOR MANY YEARS, Goodsell was an active mountaineer and backpacker.
He made his first climb of Oregon’s Mount Hood in 1936 while attending Lincoln
High School. He made his last climb of Hood — 58 years later in 1994 at age 74.
He became a member of the Mazamas, an Oregon mountaineering club, in 1963.
He climbed all of the mountains ranked by the Mazamas as “the 16 major North-
west peaks,” scaling some of them by a variety of routes. He edited three editions
of the Mazamas yearbook in the late 1960s and also edited “We Climb High” a
chronology of the club’s first 75 years. The club awarded him its Parker Cup for
his “exceptional service.” Jim and his wife Dee met each other at the Mazamas.
At the time she was the Portland-based executive secretary of the American Acad-
emy of Dermatology. She edited the Mazamas’ yearbook for three years in the
Jim’s major expedition in backpacking was a long trek in 1964 along the Pacific
Crest Trail from Lost Lake near Mount Hood northward through Washington State
to the Canadian border. With him was his longtime friend, Judge Herbert M.
Schwab. (I wished them well after driving them from Portland to their daybreak
starting point. Someone else picked them up at the end of their journey.)
Goodsell was a member of the Labor Hall of Fame, voted in several years ago
by the sponsoring Northwest Oregon Labor Retirees Council, which is affiliated
with the Portland-based Northwest Oregon Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
AT TWISP, Goodsell continued to be an editor. He edited several editions of
the local school district’s “Imprints” publication, an annual magazine of the best
student writing at all grade levels.
At age 82 he began working as a copy editor and proofreader at the weekly
Methow Valley News in Twisp. He was offered a part-time job after complaining
about grammatical and typographical errors in the paper. Some years back, Jim
wrote a humorous essay which appeared in several newspapers in which he dis-
cussed “the apostrophe catastrophe.” His essay cited examples of how the apos-
trophe is misused by writers who should know better, and are not caught by their
editors, who should know even more so.
GOODSELL made crossword puzzles and board games. Two year ago he
sold a crossword puzzle to the New York Times, which ran it on a Wednesday, the
day of the week when the paper’s crossword puzzles begin to get more difficult.
He daughter, Ann Goodsell, told the Labor Press that he “concocted locally-
themed crossword puzzles” for the Methow Valley News and that he wrote feature
stories for the Twisp paper, in addition to his proofreading and copy editing. At the
request of the publisher, he also wrote a monthly in-house critique of the weekly
In fact, there are at least 135 other
NLRB cases being held pending rulings
on the Kentucky River decisions, 60 of
which are union election cases.
It’s a breathtaking assault on union
rights and you’ve probably never even
heard about it. One reason is that, un-
like previous labor boards, the Bush
NLRB has refused to allow oral argu-
ments in any of its cases. Even the Ken-
tucky River cases have not been opened
up for oral arguments, despite the ex-
traordinary importance these decisions
hold for the future of America’s work-
Senators Patty Murray and Maria
Cantwell, along with most of Washing-
ton’s congressional delegation, have
written the chairman of the NLRB and
urged him at least to allow the affected
people this opportunity to make their
For American workers, the stakes
could not be higher. The right to collec-
tive bargaining plays a critical role in
lifting wages, benefits and working con-
ditions not just for union members, but
for all workers.
“Our nation has long recognized the
rights of workers to organize and col-
lectively bargain,” said Rep. Brian
Baird, who has urged the NLRB to hear
oral arguments in the cases. “Much of
what we take for granted today — the
five-day work week, overtime pay, re-
tirement benefits, health insurance, paid
vacation, and more — came about as a
direct result of long and difficult nego-
tiations by organized workers. Because
these cases have the potential to reshape
fundamental worker rights and erode
the freedom to unionize, workers de-
serve to be heard on the ‘supervisory’
We’re still waiting to see if the
NLRB will allow working people to be
heard, or if we will simply read about
the loss of our freedoms in the morning
Oregon retirees invited to join
Alliance for Retired Americans
By VERNA PORTER
The more time I spend talking to
people as the president of the Oregon
Alliance for Retired Americans
(ORARA), the more I realize that most
people know little about us. Those who
do, and have joined or were signed up,
are also justifiably confused about
whether and how they got to be mem-
bers. So let’s get a few things straight.
The national Alliance for Retired
Americans identifies its mission as “en-
sur(ing) social and economic justice and
full civil rights for all citizens so that
they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal
and family fulfillment and security.”
To do this, ARA urges all older and
retired people to work toward a world
that allows them the security to pursue
new and expanded activities with their
families, unions, civic organizations and
communities after they stop working.
Sounds good, right? Also sounds a
bit vague, so let’s try everyday lan-
ORARA is one of 27 chartered state
alliances working to enroll and mobi-
lize anyone who’s retired, plans on re-
tiring, or knows there’s no way they’ll
ever be able to retire, into a nationwide
grass-roots movement advocating a
progressive political and social agenda
that respects work and strengthens fam-
We in the Alliance intend to become
the voice for older Americans by en-
gaging in important political battles to
preserve programs vital to the health
and economic security of all older
Americans, no matter the generation,
the tax bracket, or the color of the collar.
You can become a member of the
ARA by retiring as a member of one of
a number of international unions, or by
filling out a form and paying 15 bucks a
year. Either way, you join over three
million others. But what can you do to
help the mission succeed in Oregon?
ORARA needs your tangible partic-
ipation in and support for what we’re
doing locally. Therefore, we want you
to become a member of ORARA. If
you’re part of a group that cares about
what matters, you can get the group to
formally affiliate with ORARA, but we
still need your individual support.
OK, let’s get down to basics: We
need money to pay for the things we do,
which usually means educating people
on the issues that affect the quality of
your life after the age of 50. There’s
more to that than Medicare and Social
Security. If you think about it, you’ll be
surprised at how the list will grow.
There’s the instability of pensions and
other investment schemes; taxes; livable
wages; the disappearance of good jobs;
.....well, you get the picture.
Let’s face it. We can get these
things done, but we need everyone who
cares about their future to join us and
support us before their future becomes
their present. If you just do what you
can, ORARA can be the way you’ll be
heard by the organizations and institu-
tions that affect your interests.
(Editor’s Note: ORARA President
Verna Porter is a retired RN who advo-
cates and lobbies for good health care.
She can be reached at vvj