New Leadership at the Oregon AFL-CIO

Over at the AFL-CIO website, president Tim Nesbitt posted this (excerpted):

I have decided to leave my position as president of the Oregon AFL-CIO.

As you know only too well, this is a time of dramatic change for our union movement. Change of this kind can be difficult, but also challenging, energizing and full of new opportunities.

Since we joined the national debate about the reorganization of our union movement last December, I have found find myself thinking more of the big questions we’re confronting. How to connect better with workers who don’t have unions is one such question, of course. But so is finding new and better ways to represent working people in the political process. And, toughest of all, is how to counter what is happening to our jobs in the global economy. In thinking about those questions, I have reached three conclusions: (1) that I am ready for new challenges, (2) that our union movement is in good shape here in Oregon, and (3) that our upcoming convention offers the best opportunity to make the transition to a new president for your federation. ...

In the months ahead, I believe that our top priority is to undertake and complete a new “New Alliance” process, in which we renegotiate our commitments to our state federation for the next two years. And, that’s a process that should be led by the person who will serve as your president for those years. ...

In particular, I am pleased that Tom Chamberlain has agreed to be a candidate for my position. I don’t want to prejudge your choice of my successor, which will be decided by a vote of the Executive Board, but I am convinced that Tom is ready and able to succeed me. He has my full support.


  • Ted Blaszak (unverified)

    Over the past several years I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with President Nesbitt on numerous political campaigns. He is a champion.

    His brilliance and dedication to Oregon's working families has steered our state clear of the disastrous policies of Bill Sizemore and other conservative forces that would bankrupt our state and neglect our people.

    He has written and advanced policy changes that have raised the minimum wage, expanded health care coverage, and enhanced educational opportunities, among many others. Thousands of Oregon families are living better fuller lives because of his hard work.

    Word of his leaving the OR AFL-CIO should be greeted with a mix of emotions from all of us who call ourselves progressives. Gratitude for his accomplishments, sadness for his departure, and hope for his continued work.

    Thank you Tim.

  • Ron Ledbury (unverified)

    He has joined with the OEA to make a deal with the devil and make Oregon taxpayers cover for the investment losses incurred by the investment trust known as the Oregon Investment Council (and their long list of investment banker partners). He has acted like a pawn of Wall Street, just as has our State Treasurer Randall Edwards.

    It is sick to call this brilliance.

    Every worker, and every small business that is denied access to the funds held in pension funds (public and private), loses by the taint of becoming de facto owners of big business. When the fate of the workers is no longer tied to the profitability of big business (as owners) -- big business that is bent on tearing apart small business and labor alike -- then I might then look at Mr. Nesbitt as a labor advocate rather than a clown or puppet.

    I would say that Mr. Nesbitt had better watch his backside and NOT accept the creation of multiple-tier pensions or pay-scales, be they public or private. We ALL need the young folks to not only meet their own needs but have excess to spare lest we all lose.

  • howard (unverified)

    Could this opening be the "future opportunity to serve" Tom Chamberlain had in mind when he decided not to run for Multnomah County Chair?

  • Goodbye Tim (unverified)

    I would be hard pressed to thank Tim for much. His push to raise the minimum wage recently cost my sister her job when the restaurant where she worked was forced to cut back. Will Tim look her and her children in the eye and tell them how his work helped them?

    I for one am glad to see him and is failed attempts to manipulate Oregon's economy go.

  • MAG (unverified)
    <h2>I for one will miss Tim. Sure he has made mistakes. Coming out for Kulongoski for Gov. and pushing Ted to power may be one of them. There is certainly a disconnect between Kulongoski and workers. But Tim is creative,hard working, takes risks, genuinely cares for his members and pushes forward a progressive agenda despite the odds. I'd personally rather have someone out there trying to change the world, tripping ocassionaly, getting up once again to fight the good fight,trying to help vs. sitting back and just talking about it. He is a respected leader who I hope stays involved in Oregon politics.</h2>
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