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AFL-CIO Endorses $15 Ballot Measure

Originally published on the Oregonians for 15 website on October 26, 2015

After rigorous debate, Oregon’s largest labor federation voted to support Oregonians for 15, the campaign to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour. Hundreds of union members were in Seaside this past weekend as delegates to the annual Oregon AFL-CIO convention, where a unanimous vote was taken to endorse the $15 ballot initiative. The delegates from the 37 unions that make up the federation heard and voted on resolutions on issues ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement, to statewide anti-worker legislation, and raising Oregon’s minimum wage.

Two resolutions related to the minimum wage came before the committee on laws and legislation before making their way to the convention floor. One resolved to support all efforts to raise the minimum wage that get it as high as possible as fast as possible, and that include efforts to restore local control of minimum wage laws. The second resolved to endorse the $15 ballot initiative campaign by the Oregonians for 15 coalition.

Debate in the laws and legislation committee was heated at times. Some delegates argued that $15 can’t win because experts say it didn’t poll high enough. Chief Petitioner and delegate for the Oregon State Letter Carriers, Jamie Partridge, argued that $15 polled 54% in Oregon two years before the 2016 election, and less than a year after the push for $15 began here. He explained that if the labor movement united behind the initiative and combined its collective resources, $15 can win at the ballot.

Lisa Gourley, a member of the board of directors for the Oregon School Employees Association and a member of the convention’s laws and legislation committee, also spoke in favor, “We have thousands of members who make less than $15 and need this initiative to get out of poverty.”  Tina Turner-Morfitt, member of AFSCME Council 75 and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, explained why she felt it’s important for the Oregon AFL-CIO to endorse the $15 ballot measure, “Unions are out trying to convince community people that unions are for them, and we have to be true to that. We can’t go and bargain a $15 minimum wage for our members, but then do something less for the community who are non-union workers… We have to do it in good deeds, and a good deed is to fight for a minimum wage of $15.”

Committee members, board members, and member-delegates from other unions including OFNHP, Laborers Local 483, AFSCME Local 3214, UAW Local 1981, Oregon AFT. PCCFFAP, and ATU Local 757 defended the campaign as part of a workers movement that was sweeping the nation. Ultimately, Resolution 15 was sent to convention floor by the committee with a do-pass recommendation, and when the vote was taken on the convention floor it passed with the unanimous support of the delegates.

$15 is continuing to win huge victories here in Oregon and across the nation, victories that help build the movement and increase support. Three years ago $15 was seen as impossible and not even taken seriously by most people in the labor movement. Now $15 victories have been won by and for hundreds of thousands of workers in cities and states across the country. Portland full-time city workers and contract workers, and Multnomah County employees have won $15. Food services businesses are opening in the Portland area that are paying a $15 minimum wage. This summer in Oregon, over 20,000 home care workers won a $15 minimum wage with the fastest phase in of any $15 victory in the nation. And last week the City of Milwaukie passed an ordinance guaranteeing a $15 minimum wage for all city workers and independent contractors who work for the city.

The Fight for $15 in Oregon has made tremendous movement and progress in a very short amount of time. With the combined resources and support of the labor community and other progressive community and faith organizations, united together with low-wage workers and supportive allies around the state in a mass movement of volunteers collecting signatures and getting out the vote, campaign organizers are confident that the polls will only continue to climb and that $15 will win at the ballot in November 2016.


Three Practical Money Saving Tips for Seniors

Folks with excellent saving habits often enjoy greater financial success than those lacking in that department. That statement applies to seniors as well. Obviously, no one wants to spend his or her golden years stressed for cash, so even if you feel you’ve done a good job preparing for what comes after retirement, you should still be looking for ways to cut down your expenses. Seniors have good instincts when it comes to betting, hence with proper guidance, they could actually make a decent amount of money playing 해외배팅사이트 online. 

Here are three practical money saving tips for seniors:

  1. Take advantage of discounts
    Many retailers, government agencies, and service providers have discounted prices for seniors, but you likely won’t get them unless you ask. These discounts can be as high as 50 percent, so the savings quickly add up.

The next time you’re getting ready to swipe your credit card, take a few seconds and ask the representative if the company has discounted rates for senior citizens. In most cases, the response you’ll get will be a “yes.”

Why miss out on a good thing?

  1. Reduce recurring charges
    As common as reoccurring charges are today, they are not always in the customer’s best interest. Many people aren’t even aware of all the recurring charges that are applied on their accounts every month.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to spend a little time analyzing your monthly statement. Make sure all your monthly charges are for services you really need. If you’re one of those dinosaurs who still owns an archaic landline, you don’t need a cell phone with your provider’s deluxe package. A simple pre-paid plan with a few hundred minutes for $15 will do. Don’t forget to ask for a seniors discount while you’re at it.

  1. Focus on the important things in life
    Who would have thought it? Focusing on the important things in life actually saves you money. Worry less about buying expensive gifts for your loved ones, and focus more on spending quality time with them. Instead of buying your grandson — who is fascinated with cars — the latest RC model, take him to a car show where he’ll get to see the latest prototypes and meet real experts in the industry.

That experience that will last a lifetime, unlike a toy that will be discarded the minute something cooler comes out, and it likely won’t cost you as much.


‘Star Wars’ and Big Money: The Mind-Blowing Earnings of the Beloved Film Franchise

Despite the fact that anything ‘Star Wars’ has always been a top earner in the film and merchandise industry, more than a few eyebrows were raised late last year when Disney bought the franchise for a reported $4 billion, with at least five more movies planned starting in 2015.

But was it such a risky bet? Not when you look at the numbers. According to stats from Forbes and Lucasfilm, the franchise has earned about $27 billion in revenue since the first Star Wars film in 1977.
Here’s how that mountain of money breaks down:

Star Wars Films

The Phantom Menace: $924,317,558
Attack of the Clones: $649,398,328
Revenge of the Sith: $848,754,768
A New Hope: $775,398,007
Empire Strikes Back: $538,375,067
Return of the Jedi: $475,106,177
The Clone Wars: $68,282,844

DVD sales: $2.9 billion
DVD rentals: $875 million

Star Wars Toys

Kenner (1978-1985): $3.85 billion
Hasbro (1995-2011): $5.537 billion
“Other” Collectibles: $2.72 billion

Star Wars Books

Including 358 titles by 76 authors: $1.82 billion

Star Wars Video Games and Other Sources

130 games: $2.9 billion
Licensing: $625 million
Television Show ‘Clone Wars’: $4.5 million

Star Wars Compared to Entire Countries

According to data from the World Bank, the Star Wars franchise has so far earned more money than more than half of the 193 countries on the list of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2011. It made about the same amount as Panama produced that year, almost doubled the output of Iceland, nearly tripled Nicaragua’s GDP and earned more than the total output of Greenland, Bermuda, Mongolia and Rwanda – combined.

In 2011 alone, Star Wars made $1.5 billion from games and toys, or slightly more than the GDP for Belize in the same year.

George Lucas’s Wealth

Forbes puts the net worth of 69-year-old Lucas at $3.9 billion. Not bad for a guy who originally wanted to be a racecar driver but went to film school after a horrible car accident. To be fair, many of us would have retired after the first billion was in the bank. But Lucas might have a few Art-house films in him. Concerning future projects, Lucas has said “I’ve worked hard enough and earned enough to fail for the rest of my life.”