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(en) US, Portland, Media: Crisis Line Employees to Vote on IWW Membership

From Dan Clore <clore@columbia-center.org>
Date Fri, 10 Oct 2003 18:19:29 +0200 (CEST)

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Employees at the nonprofit Portland Women's Crisis Line have
started a movement to unionize under the Portland Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW) local 650.
"Right now we are waiting to get voluntary recognition from
the [Portland Women's Crisis Line] board, which will come
after a staff vote, probably this week," said Stacie Wolfe,
a crisis line employee and supporter of the union effort.
Wolfe said she is confident eligible employees will vote in
the union. "I think almost everyone has their union
membership," she said.

The agency has 14 employees, including nine crisis line
employees and two sexual assault advocates. Four positions
are full time, with the remainder of employees working eight
to 30 hours weekly.

Business Journal calls to the Portland Women's Crisis Line
executive director and a board member were not returned.

Established in 1973, the 24-hour hotline helps connect
survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault with
advocates and other resources.

In the past year the agency, funded mostly by private
donations and grants, has cut five full-time positions,
according to Wolfe.

Remaining employees are hoping to gain an open grievance
policy, an end to "at-will" employment, regular break
periods, compensation for on-call time and a benefits package.

Crisis line employees earn $9 an hour, or an average of
about $15,000 a year, Wolfe said

Employees chose the Portland IWW because of the union's
experience organizing at other nonprofits, Wolfe said.

Contact Robin J. Moody at 503-219-3438 or
> The Business Journal (Portland) LATEST NEWS by Robin J. Moody
Dan Clore

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