AFL-CIO endorses Kulongoski

OPB is reporting that Governor Ted Kulongoski has won the support of the Oregon AFL-CIO.

The Oregon labor federation, AFL-CIO voted Tuesday to endorse Ted Kulongoski for governor. The vote comes after several years of tension between Kulongoski and state unions -- because of his work to scale back the public employees pensions.

The head of the Oregon AFL-CIO points out Kulongoski's strong labor record:

"When you evaluate Kulongoski's record on working families in total, what you'll see is a very progressive governor who has if not the, one of the best labor records in this country."

Chamberlain points to Kulongoski's speaking out about the World Trade Organization, his refusal to sign onto any trade agreements and his support of a higher minimum wage.

Update: More from the Oregonian blog...

Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s effort to portray himself as the worker’s Democrat against corporate Republican Ron Saxton got a boost Tuesday when the AFL-CIO of Oregon gave him a unanimous endorsement. ... The Oregon governor’s race will be a preview of the 2008 presidential and congressional battles, Kulongoski said. Labor groups and Democrats will find themselves pitted against Republicans out to make life harder for working families.

Visit the Oregon AFL-CIO. Visit Kulongoski for Governor. Discuss.

  • Karl (unverified)

    The Oregon AFL-CIO endorsed Ted Kulongoski in the Democratic primary for governor.

  • (Show?)

    You are incorrect, Karl. The Oregon AFL-CIO stayed neutral during the primary.

    From the Salem Statesman-Journal:

    The move, although expected, should help Kulongoski patch up his stormy relationship with his longtime allies in organized labor. The labor federation had stayed neutral in the May primary.
  • Chuck Paugh (unverified)

    My father, a Midwest steel worker for most of his life, always told me that any person who works a blue collar job and votes for a Republican is a fool.

    Instead of it being a shock that the AFL-CIO has endorsed Kulongoski, I think the greater shock should be that the AFL-CIO and other unions are not pressuring the Oregon legislature to enact more labor friendly laws such as securing the rights of workers to strike when warranted without fear of the state forcing them back to work.

  • rosie the riveter (unverified)

    Ted was the first governot to endorse the Employee Free Choice Act. From his web site:

    Governor Kulongoski was the first governor to endorse the Employee Free Choice Act, a legislative proposal currently pending in Congress that specifically calls for mandatory binding arbitration, card check elections, and employer neutrality in representation elections. The Governor’s endorsement shows his commitment to even stronger principles to protect the right of workers to form unions under state labor laws as well.

    The governor's announcement clarifies the principles he supports for a farm worker bargaining law in Oregon and should set a strong precedent for the labor standards to be established for new tribal casinos in the state.

    A key provision of the Employee Free Choice Act and the governor's announced principles for state labor policies is the requirement to send unresolved issues to a neutral arbitrator when negotiations for a first contract stall or reach impasse. This so-called "first contract arbitration" provision, now part of the farm workers bargaining law in California, was key to the recent negotiation of several new contracts for farm workers in that state. Earlier this year, an arbitrator resolved a first contract at a PictSweet mushroom plant in California where the workers had organized 17 years ago but had been unable to secure a fair agreement. The same company closed a plant in Oregon when faced with a union organizing effort several years ago.

  • Ralph the Ratcheter (unverified)

    You can tell that everyone's excited about this endorsement because of all the comments and cut-and-pastes of the guv's website.

    I can hardly contain my excitement.

  • Ron Buel (unverified)

    I want to take us back to the Democratic primary in 2002 when Governor Kulongoski beat Bev Stein and Jim Hill with the AFL-CIO endorsement in the primary. What Ted said then to the Labor Convention, as it was quoted in several papers, was, "I'm not going to get out in front of the people."

    He has kept that promise, and it endangers progressives in this State, because people are tired of Democratic Governors (see Goldschmidt, Roberts, Kitzhaber and Kulongoski) who did not lead on education or health care, leaving hundreds of thousands out of the American dream in Oregon.

    It's possible we could win the House, hold the Senate, and the colorless, uncourageous Kulongoski could lose to Saxton. As the Democratic organizations in this state oppose campaign finance reform, Saxton will outspend Kulongoski by a sizeable amount.

    As a sitting Governor, Kulongoski could barely win his own primary. I predict that, except for a slip of the lip or two, Teddy K will once again not get out in front of the people to lead. I predict Ben Westlund will siphon a bunch of votes out of Metro area moderates and progressives. And Labor will once again be happy to control a losing progressive majority which can't get anything meaningful done about the State's major problems. Teddy the K wants to be Governor again. He will get Labor support because he doesn't want to Do Anything with the job. What does that tell you about the mess we're in.

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