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.
• 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 ChristAnita 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 RetiredRev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell - First Unitarian Church
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 CollegeOrganizations 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.