Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Portland Fights Anti-Labor Group’s Demand for Union Workers’ Names

November 14, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PORTLAND, Ore.—A far-right group trying to undermine public-sector labor unions in the Pacific Northwest is suing the city of

Local 483 is fighting a right wing assault.

Portland to get it to release the names of union workers. The Freedom Foundation, based in Olympia, Washington, filed the suit demanding the names of city employees represented by Laborers’ Local 483 on Oct. 30, the week after the City Council voted unanimously to challenge a county district attorney’s order to give them up. The Freedom Foundation uses the names to call workers and visit their homes to try to convince them to leave the union, saying it wants to help free them from unions’ “death grip.” City wastewater workers trying to decertify Local 483 asked for its help, but the foundation has previously obtained names of workers represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Multnomah County, the city of Medford, and Josephine County. The names have been considered public records, but city and union lawyers now contend that releasing them would violate workers’ privacy. “They’re an anti-union, anti-worker group,” Local 483 Business Manager Farrell Reichartz told the Portland Mercury Web site. “We’re interested in protecting the rights and privacy of our members.”

Read more here.

November 14, 2017

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