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Portland Jobs with Justice is a coalition of more than 90 labor organizations and community groups dedicated to protecting the rights of working people and supporting community struggles to build a more just society.

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Workers' Rights Board

The Portland Area Workers’ Rights Board

The Workers’ Rights Board is a public forum where workers can bring complaints against employers for violating their human and legal rights in the workplace. The Board is drawn from a broad spectrum of community leaders and can intervene with employers and the public to help resolve situations that threaten workers’ rights. The Board believes that it is especially important to support the efforts of low wage workers, who tend to be women, immigrants, young workers, and workers of color, to achieve justice in the workplace. Safe, living wage jobs, where workers are not discriminated against for speaking up for their rights, are the backbone of any healthy community. Workers’ Rights Boards currently exist in thirteen cities across the country.


Statement of Purpose


The Portland Workers’ Rights Board is convened to bring to light and respond to injustices in the workplace. The Board also fights for community labor standards which respect the dignity of all workers. In recent years workers’ rights have been eroded. Workers are often intimidated or fired for speaking out or for union organizing. All too often the community does not know these stories. It is time for workers voices to be heard by our community.


Primary goals of the Workers’ Rights Board


• Investigate incidents where employers are accused of violating workers rights or unfairly resisting efforts of workers to have a voice in their workplace.

• Establish community standards about fairness in the workplace that will serve as a moral benchmark to which employers can be held accountable.

• Support and strengthen workers’ democratic rights through community education.


Board activities


• Establishing a workers’ rights hotline.

• Meeting with workers and employers to investigate complaints.

• Holding public hearings to take testimony and raise public awareness of issues.

• Holding press conferences to publicize specific struggles through the media.

• Writing letters of support for workers’ struggles.

• Developing statements of principle to foster community support for fair labor standards.

• Participating in community events to raise awareness about workers rights, including the right to organize and bargain collectively.

• Monitoring fair elections for union recognition.


Issues the Board might address


• Arbitrary and unfair treatment by supervisors or managers.

• Health and safety complaints.

• Working conditions and the rights of Workfare participants.

• Support for workers exercising their democratic right to organize.

• Illegal firing of workers during an organizing drive.

• Creation of a living wage policy for publicly funded jobs.

• Working conditions in low wage industries.


Current Workers' Rights Board Members


Sam Adams - Portland City Council

Michael Arken – Association of Retired Americans

Bill Bigelow - Rethinking Schools

Mother Alcena Boozer - St Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church

Dr. Johanna Brenner - Portland State University

Rev Donald Buxman - Christ the King Catholic Church

Dr. Barbara Byrd - Labor Education Research Center

Andrea Cano - community leader

Margaret Carter - former State Senator

Valerie Chapman - St. Francis Catholic Church

Serena Cruz Walsh - Former Multnomah Co. Comm.

Rev. Chuck Curry - United Church of Christ

Michael Dembrow - State Representative

Rev. David Dornack - Rose City Park Presbyterian Church

Barbara Dudley - Professor, Portland State University

Veronica Dujon – Professor, Portland State University

Nellie Fox-Edwards - Senior Advocate

Chris Frost - Attorney-at-Law

Cassandra Garrison - Anti-poverty activist

Rev Bill Gates - Parkrose United Methodist Church

Jill Ginsberg - Family Physician

Steven Goldberg - Attorney-at-Law

Armando Gonzales - MeCHA

Martin Gonzalez - Portland School Board

Avel Gordly - former State Senator

Dr Martin Hart-Landsberg - Professor, Lewis and Clark College

Julie Hastings - Professor, Portland Community College

Maribeth Healey – health care advocate

Brian Hoop - Bureau of Neighborhoods, City of Portland

Teresa Huntsinger - Oregon Environmental Council

Dr. Mary King - Portland State University

Rev. Mark Knutson - Augustana Lutheran Church

Tina Kotek - State Representative

Fr. Robert Krueger - St Francis Catholic Church

Rev Susan Leo - Bridgeport UCC

Randy Leonard - Portland City Council

David Leslie – Executive Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Raleigh Lewis - Coalition of Black Men

Fr. Chuck Lienert - St Andrew Catholic Church

Rev. Hector Lopez - United Church of Christ

Francisco Lopez - CAUSA Oregon

Rev. Terry Moe - Redeemer Lutheran Church

Fr. Jack Mosbrucker - St Therese Catholic Ch, retired

Steve Novick - Willamette Week Activist of the Year

Don Oman – Owner, Casa Bruno

Dr. Jose Padin - Professor, Portland State University

Lolenzo Poe - Coalition of Black Men

Verna Porter - Council of Senior Citizens

Rev Cecil Prescod - United Church of Christ

Anita Rodgers - McKenzie River Gathering


Diane Rosenbaum - State Representative

Rev. Pat Ross –  United Church of Christ

Rev. Gene Ross - United Church of Christ

Rev John Schwiebert - Metanoia Peace Community

Denny Scott - United Brotherhood of Carpenters Retired

Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell - First Unitarian Church

Minister Emerita

Chip Shields - State Senator

Rev Lynne Smouse Lopez - Ainsworth UCC

Romeo Sosa - Executive Director, Voz Workers' Rights Project

Dick Springer - Former State Senator

Kathleen Sullivan - Former Director, NARAL

Anne Sweet - Workforce development

Joseph Tam - Former school board member

Joice Taylor – Chair, North/NE Business Alliance

Randy Tucker - Environmental advocate

Ann Turner, MD - Virginia Garcia Clinic

Geri Washington - MESD Board

Nancy Weed - Oregon Human Rights Coalition

Rev Dr David Wheeler - First Baptist Church

Rev Steve Witte - farmworker advocate

Chris Wold – Professor, Lewis and Clark Law School

Rabbi Joseph Wolf - Havurah Shalom

Elliott Young – Professor, Lewis and Clark College

Organizations listed for identification purposes only



The Portland Worker’s Rights’ Board is a community-based project of Portland Jobs with Justice, a coalition of labor unions, community organizations, faith-based organizations and other concerned people. Portland Jobs with Justice is part of a national coalition that works to promote economic justice and human rights for working people and their families. There are more than 40 Jobs with Justice chapters nationwide.

For more information, contact Jobs with Justice at 503.236.5573, or at

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