The Portland Workers’ Rights Board offers workers a public, community forum where they can bring their complaints against employers for violating their human and legal rights in the workplace.
The Board is drawn from a broad spectrum of political, faith, academic, legal, and community leaders that can intervene with employers and the public to help resolve situations that threaten workers’ rights.
As a result of a variety of systemic and institutional barriers, low-wage jobs tend to be disproportionately filled by women, workers of color, immigrants, differently-abled workers, and young workers. This is why the Board believes that it is especially important to support the efforts of low wage workers to achieve justice and equity 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.
The Portland Area Workers’ Rights Board is convened to bring to light and respond to injustices in the workplace. The Board also fights for community labor standards that respect the dignity of all workers. Decades of attacks on labor have eroded workers’ rights. 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.
Investigate incidents where employers are accused of violating workers rights or unfairly resisting efforts of workers to have a voice in their workplace.
• Elevate the voices of workers struggling for justice and equity in their workplace, and support and strengthen workers’ democratic rights through community education.
• Establish community standards about fairness in the workplace that will serve as a moral benchmark to which employers can be held accountable.
• 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.
• 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.
• Violations of workers’ rights and unfair labor practices
• Working conditions in low-wage industries
Hearing on COVID-19 Bill of Rights for Providence Nurses, March 2021
Hearing on labor & human rights violations in LIFT paratransit service, May 2018
Hearing on exploitation of immigrant carpenters, July 2017
Hearing on safe staffing for nurses Legacy Health system, May 2007
Hearing on contract negotiations for teachers at PPS, Feb 2003
Hearing on labor, health, safety, and environmental practices at Oregon Steel, Sept 2000
Hearing on contract negotiations at Powell’s Books, June 2000
Current Workers’ Rights Board Members
*Organizations listed for identification purposes only
The Portland Workers’ Rights Board is a community-based project of Portland Jobs with Justice, a coalition of over 100 labor unions, community, faith, and student organizations. 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.