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Picket Line @ SW 5th Oak against Russell Construction

There's a picket line outside the fru-fru US Bank Tower on SW 5th & Oak against Russell Construction. I walked by on my way to work to try to talk to someone or get some literature but had no luck.
If anyone wants to go down there with a little equipment or even just to talk to them, that'd be cool. I hadn't realized how long it has been since I passed a real picket line.
nevermind 10.May.2005 11:02

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I went down there on my break to see if i could do a little impromptu reporting. They're gone so far as i can see.

me too 10.May.2005 12:28

random cyclist

i was downtown on an errand and swung by around 11:30. didn't see anything. was that the right intersection?

yep 10.May.2005 15:17

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it was sw 5th & oak right outside one of the dreaded starfucks.

Russell Construction protest 12.May.2005 08:51

susieq

The protesters are there every am between 8 and 9. I work across the street from the tower and they are quite loud. Be interesting to know the details of thier protest.

russell construction picketing 12.May.2005 10:15

Ben Embree Dir. of Organizing for the Carpenters Union

The Carpenters Union has started to inform the public about companies that don't pay the going rates in construction in the downtown core. We believe that all construction workers should get living wages , Health care for the craftsmen and his family , and a true retirement. These are not new to the industry they have been the area standard for decades across the country.We will put the needed resorces to this effort doing anything we can to help the non-union workers and there families get those benifits.

Family wages for Construction workers 12.May.2005 11:12

Carpenter Organizer jclide@aol.com

Buildings keep using contractors that pay workers only what they have to not what they deserve, I worked around one of Russells previous superintendants who had to leave Russell to get a raise, that same raise that Norman Russell promised him for months on end. Russell workers can't speak up for fear of being fired so we will speak for them and hopefully make it loud enough for all to hear!!!

Picket line 25.May.2005 12:50

Annoyed

Would somebody please call Russell Construction and tell them to give these freaking people their fair wages and give it to them now? If I have to listen to one more day of these chants from these folks, I'm going to pay them off.

Noise 06.Jun.2005 12:47

Native Son

I've lived here my whole life and never seen anything like this! What is up with these people? why don't they just go away so we can work in peace. I don't give a goddamn how much they make as long as I get to do my job.

Russell should go 20.Jun.2005 14:27

very aware

The carpenters have stopped the noise. They're handing out leaflets about area standard wages and want people to call russell construction

Union Lies 14.Jul.2005 11:25

Norman Russell

The Carpenters Union has targeted Russell Construction using pretense and assumption. The Carpenters Union has been losing market share and membership for years (fact). The Union has a campaign to target non-union contractors that perform work in locations that, if picketed by the union, get the most exposure for their slanderous messages. Oregon is an at-will state, meaning employees and employers have relationships "at-will". The union would have you believe that Russell pays sub-standard wages. Does Russell Construction endenture it's workers? Our employees are grown men and women with skills and experience. If Russell does not compensate these individuals fairly does anyone really believe they would stay at Russell? There is a construction boom in Portland. These individuals could find other employment literally within hours if they didn't think Russell Construction was treating them fairly.

Russell Construction pays fair "family wage rates". Russell pays for Health, Dental, Vision and Life Insurance for our employees. Russell provides a retirement plan for its employees with a company match for participating employees. The individual employee is in charge of their individual account, all funds are immediately 100% vested to the employee. Does this sound unfair? I would ask the union how large the unfunded liability in their pension plan is? The carpenter's union current work force is paying into a retirement fund that uses current funds to pay out to retired members. The money paid by today's union carpenters won't be there when they retire! Is that fair? Russell's retirement plan funds are not co-mingled with other funds nor is any employee's funds co-mingled with any other employee's.

Ask the union how much they pay the "bucket beaters" they pick up off of Burnside and at the Union Gospel Mission? Several members of the bucket beaters have indicated that they received less than minimum wage from the carpenter's union for their services and no benefits, healthcare or otherwise. Is this in some way helping their cause or helping these individuals? Many of these Union employees were back on Burnside immediately after Embree was done with their services. Mr. Embree's actions show that he doesn't care about community wages or health care. Mr. Embree only cares about increasing the numbers of union carpenters and the subsequent dues that they generate.

To answer Mr. Embree's charge concering a previous superintendent, Russell Construction superintendents are compensated based upon experience and qualifications. Based on the fact that most of our superintents have been with us 10 years or longer, in the midst of a construction boom, belies Embree's contention that our superintendents are not compensated fairly.

Russell operates with an open door policy for all employees. All employees have access to management. No one is in fear of being fired.

Yeah Right! 18.Jul.2005 16:50

Gabby

I used to work for Russell I never got any benefits just promises...my boss Chuck was a real asshole he was always yelling at me and calling me names. I quit after two months.

Russell doesn't pay area standards 19.Jul.2005 15:53

Ben Embree

DON'T LET A BAIT AND SWITCH SWAY YOU

UNLIKE RUSSELL CONSTRUCTION THE CARPENTERS UNION DOESN'T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ANY PERSON OR PERSONS THAT ARE TRYING TO BETTER THEMSELVES THRU A GOOD DAYS WORK

RUSSELL CONSTRUCTION
DOES NOT PAY THE AREA STANDARDS

WE BELIEVE THAT CARPENTERS DESERVE TO BE PAID WHAT THE GOING RATE IS
NOT WHAT RUSSELL CONSTRUCTION THINKS IS A FAIR WAGE

Brought to you by the people who invented the weekend.

We are not promoting any work stoppages or refusal to deliver any goods or services.
The Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters

well, great 05.Aug.2005 16:05

confused

So I see that they've stopped beating the buckets but now have gotten the same folks to hand out leaflets about a stolen banner. Amazing. At least now I can just ignore the leaflet-hander-outers. Hard to ignore screechy voices and bass drums protesting to people who don't give a damn.

No Ones Gone Away 28.Feb.2006 10:25

Ben Embree

The Regional Council of Carpenters have not gone away, we are looking at a responce to the countinued abuse of workers in the Bank Tower. Meaning that those workers do not get living wages and benifits, which doesn't allow them to live a life that many of us can. This issue should be at the for front of the people in Portland, when the upper class is attempting to detroy the middle class. We have all seen the rising cost of health insurance. It is costing all of us more because of dead beat contractors that don't offer it to their employees, raise our costs 25%.