Election Shows Strength Of Oregon’s Labor Movement

The following is a joint statement from SEIU Local 503 President Steven Demarest and SEIU Local 49 President Meg Niemi:

We congratulate Governor Kate Brown on her resounding win, and we look forward to another four years of her leadership.

Governor Brown’s commitment to healthcare, stable housing, and strong unions galvanized SEIU members to give their time and resources at a scale that was unprecedented. The results show that Oregonian’s values and our union’s values are one and the same.

Tonight’s results lay a clear path forward on some of the most important issues facing our state:

  • Now more than ever, Oregon needs good union jobs. Tonight’s results show that candidates who ran on core progressive issues won. Up and down the ballot, voters chose candidates who stood with working families on issues like health care, a secure retirement, renter protections and strong unions.
  • Governor Brown stood up for teachers, firefighters and public employees by refusing to accept cuts to their pay or retirement. This, plus the election of strong pro-worker majorities in the House and Senate, paves the way for finally funding services at a level Oregonians expect by having  in 2019.
  • By defeating Measure 103 and 104, voters demonstrated that big corporations cannot buy favorable treatment in Oregon.
  • By defeating Measure 105, voters sent a clear message that hate and racial profiling have no place in our state.

In this election, SEIU members knocked on more than 85,000 doors, made 11,000 phone calls, and sent 70,000 texts to help get out the vote.

At a time when labor unions are facing unprecedented attacks, tonight’s results show that Oregon’s labor movement is alive and well. SEIU members responded to the Janus v AFSCME decision and other attacks by  doubling down on their union, giving in record numbers to their political action committee, showing up to canvass, and choosing to remain members. Meanwhile, efforts by The Freedom Foundation and other groups to diminish worker power in Oregon are simply not working.

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