Class struggle in Portland: City employees battle layoffs, musicians call for a living wage

Labor Radio
program date: 
Mon, 09/14/2009

Tonight’s show features two stories close to home that affect the livelihoods of many Portlanders.

"How could you cut a Bureau in half?" Massive job cuts at the City of Portland

Maybe you or someone you know works for the City of Portland, or works in an industry like construction that depends on city permitting, or maybe you’re a tenant who’s ever called the city to report housing code violations when your landlord won’t make needed repairs.  All those functions are threatened as the City prepares to lay off half the staff of the Bureau of Development Services.  Our guest is Carol Justice, longtime City employee and member of AFSCME 189, working together with other unions to fight the cuts.  "This is a class war," she tells KBOO. "This is the middle class fighting to keep just what they have -- we're not even asking for more."  Reach her at

 "This is my day job:" Fair Trade Music campaign

Despite the high profile of Portland’s music scene, professional musicians struggle to make ends meet in our town, on fees that often work out to even less than minimum wage.  Our guests -- musicians Sean Hudson, Graham Smith-White, and Jennifer Woodall, and publicist Matt Kalinowski -- are among those banding together with AFM 99 to ask venues and fans to support what they’re calling fair trade music.  


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