Oregon Senator helps SEIU organize state employees; threatens gov’t officials who may oppose
The Democrat Budget chief of the Oregon Senate is trying silence critics of an organizing drive that added more than 7,700 workers to the union’s membership and turned it into the largest in the state. Thanks to campaign contributions, Sen. Richard Devlin is moving to tip the scales in favor of the union organizers. Jeff Mapes, The Oregonianreports:
At the behest of Service Employees International Union, Oregon Senate budget chief Richard Devlin sought to stifle criticism of an organizing drive that added more than 7,700 workers to the union’s membership and turned it into the largest in the state.
During a drive to organize workers who help care for developmentally disabled Oregonians, Tualatin Democrat wrote a letter to officials who help employ the workers, warning them not to say anything even “mildly” critical of unionization. He also suggested that a successful union drive would help boost legislative support for services for Oregonians with developmental disabilities. .
Several officials who received the letter said it appeared Devlin tried to tip the scales in favor of the union’s expansion.
Devlin’s letter illustrates how closely the powerful public employee unions and supportive politicians work with each other behind the scenes. In the end, SEIU won its organizing fight. As a result, the union has now passed the Oregon Education Association to become the largest union in the state, with 60,000 members.
SEIU financially backed Devlin’s reelection last year and has been a key supporter of the Democratic legislative leadership. The union continues to work with the Legislature to expand its membership. Union lobbyists are trying to push through legislation allowing them to organize an entirely new category of community health workers…