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Comment Archives: stories: News

Re: “A Leak in the Bottle

Thank you, Shelby, for writing this article. I am a resident of Cascade Locks who has been attending City Council meetings to voice my opposition to the Nestle proposal and to call for a more expansive and sustainable way of approaching economic development in this depressed town. What's most distressing is the way that the Mayor, Tom Cramblett, and all but one City Council member (Deanna Busdieker is the only outspoken outlier) have communicated to the public that this is a done deal, making many local residents believe that there is no point in sharing their concerns, while under their breath, they say, "Well, actually we're still figuring things out. We can still walk away from Nestle." I, along with other Cascade Locks and Gorge residents--folks from Stevenson, Hood River, and the tribes, have banded together to form the Local Water Alliance, a local Gorge non-profit group committed to water conservation, responsible water use, AND local and sustainable economic growth. Folks, check out www.localwateralliance.wordpress.com and our FB page, "No Nestle in Cascade Locks" for updates on public meetings and protests.

21 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Aurora del Val on 07/31/2015 at 9:11 AM

Re: “A Leak in the Bottle

In time, big corporations are going to turn Mother Earth into a desolate wasteland and destroy all of our natural resources, including the wildlife, and habitat that depend and rely on these natural resources...unless somebody has the courage to stand up for our ancestor's well "deserved" rights. The ones who not only survived off the land, but lived WITH the land and gave BACK to the land by replenishing what they used. It's so sad that our land, our home, our environment has been put into the crossfire of greed and ignorance of these close-minded, arrogant, selfish rich corporations. Will justice ever prevail for the sake of our heritage and way of life? Such a shame =/

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Cheri Foster on 07/31/2015 at 1:27 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

I work in a union shop that is a sister company to a union erector. The input of the union is very minimal, when youre tresting you employees fairly. Not sure why Bruce is fighting so hard to stay anti union and neither does he. It's just stubbornness at this point, and his perpetual victim syndrome. "It can't be all of the issues these guys wrote down and handed to me, it must be the union wants me out of business!"

What both sides need to realize is this: feelings are reality to those who hold them. If 14 people are telling you they feel they aren't being treated fairly, then to those 14 people you aren't treating them fairly. If Bruce feels he's treating those 14 people fairly, then to him, it's gotta be an ulterior motive.

I worked at InstaFab as a PM and quit when my wife had my daughter, and my schedule got mixed up (I was coming in at 7am instead of 6am since my wife had a c section and couldn't lift my son out of his crib) I was told my "personal life was beginning to try Bruces patience" (over email as this man is SPINELESS face to face). This was after logging in remotely, while my daughter was being born, (well not right during, he could've gone hell if he expected that) and answering phone calls in the hospital regarding information Bruce agreed was his responsibility to provide for a project we had no business bidding.

When I quit, I gave Bruce no notice as he told me when I came on that I should give my former employer as much notice as I felt they deserved based on their treatment of me. After he texted me that he wasn't going to pay me for my final week, I had to take him to L&I to get my final check. I informed him it was illegal, and told him I would be taking him to L&I, to which he replied, "that's what they're there for!" (Over text, again, spineless) To do that to a young family with a new child, regardless of your political viewpoints on unions vs non union, This guy is the worst kind of scum. I wasn't the first employee he did this to, but I won't tell their story, since it's not mine.

My two cents:

While I seem to be anti Bruce, I'm not anti truth... There was a bathroom in the office (that the men in the office, besides Bruce, couldn't use. I assume it's cause he sits to pee as well) there was a bathroom in the shop, and there was a porta potty. While 60 people in line may be an overstated figure, when you gotta pee, it might as well be 200. When I was there a guy cleaned the shop bathroom every morning, but there was a permanent stink in there that made it so I'd prefer to use the Porta potty out back (that's how bad the smell was). He did have a lunch room in the shop, but being that this is a list of demands by the shop AND field, and having a logical brain, I'd reason that the field would also like a comfortable place to eat lunch out of the sun. I know the pay varied, and wasn't adjusted as often as anyone liked, but I knew one of the field guys made more than me (I saw a stub one time, don't know how much OT was on it) and I was making 30+ an hour... but I knew other guys made A LOT less. I know he paid OT when I was there, but this guy's mood changed like the tide, and it wouldn't shock me to find he stopped paying OT to those he deemed "weren't worthy"

Bruce didn't provide hard hats for guys in the shop, despite using overhead cranes (real dedication to safety, huh?)
It would not surprise me in the least to learn he made guys buy their own safety harnesses and he would've continued until he was found out.
Water on job sites was Matt's responsibility? Was he supposed to buy it? With his own money? When (he was always running ragged)? You couldn't have picked up a couple cases on your weekly trips to Winco? Did Matt have a company card? Did he know he wouldn't have gotten chewed out if he bought waters with it? I would have put money on the fact that Bruce would have had a high speed come apart if Matt turned in a receipt with water on it.

Will was described as insecure, and this is beyond the truth. I like Will, he treated me fairly in personal dealings, but he makes up issues that only he is the solution to, since he misses a lot of time. He has to come back and "save the day" so Bruce didn't realize that Ron had everything functioning ok without him, and realize the guy was a non contributor.

Bruce sits in the office and ignores issues until they explode in his face. Obviously since he is watching this so closely, this has exploded in his face, so keep it up guys. His Craigslist ad a month ago didn't mention anything about the positions being offered as temporary, so obviously he had no intention of bringing these guys back on... hope the NLRB notices this... I saved the page as a pdf if anyone needs it

As for the list of shops.... Everybody is hiring right now, so name a shop.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Joel Hatala on 07/30/2015 at 9:32 PM

Re: “Meet the City's New Cheap Rent Czar

(Sorry, my last comment was rushed! Here's what I meant:)

Affordable housing isn't going to happen here, or be of any use if it does until:

A) property is valued on the basis of utility and speculation is discouraged, say for example by requiring purchasers to retain ownership of the property for a period of seven years before turning it over; B) the process of getting affordable housing off the drafting board and on the ground made cost-effective (see “High Cost of ‘Affordable’ Housing”, Portland Tribune, 06 February 2014); and C) the local job market becomes amenable not only to Bay Area tech-sector refugees but to the legions of Portlanders who work as janitors or in warehouses.

Until then, we're just going to slide inexorably into Thunderdome, with nary a Mad Max to save us.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Gustation on 07/30/2015 at 4:28 PM

Re: “Meet the City's New Cheap Rent Czar

Status quo is not an acceptable option...be transparent and monitor progress...under-promise and over-deliver...serving a full spectrum of needs...it's a value-added kind of effort. Could this guy sound any more like a corporate hack?

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Paul Kemp 1 on 07/30/2015 at 1:34 PM

Re: “A Leak in the Bottle

@Robert Kennedy - Your comments have not been deleted as far as I can tell and according to the responses to your comments by WW staff, Mark Zusman lives outside of the boundaries required to pay the Arts Tax.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by tambli on 07/30/2015 at 11:54 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

OK, telling Laramie to piss off was unnecessary. Sorry.

I became frustrated yesterday when a commenter not connected to this labor dispute pointed out that the spokes-striker has continually ignored my questions about conditions that the workers face and just kept pushing for a meeting to talk about the union. The reason that the questions and the answers are important is because it is these claims that the strikers have made that are the basis for their strike.

I KNOW the job sites have water. I KNOW that we pay overtime and prevailing wage. I KNOW that we pay for safety gear including harnesses. I KNOW that we have a good lunchroom and bathroom. I KNOW that our safety record is good (better than most). And I am POSITIVE that we don't treat our workers like animals.

I was asking the questions thinking that the strikers may decide to come clean, trade honesty for access, but I guess that was wishful thinking on my part.

The spokes-striker made a big deal yesterday about how this is America, and how people are able to band together and fight for what they want. I agree with that 100%, and long as you are not misleading people and harming people and attacking people, and turning peoples lives upside down in order to do it. You can't tell me that's how it's supposed to be done? Does the end justify your means? Are we talking about the same America? What else are you willing to do to get Instafab to become a union shop?

Having Local 29 pretend that they don't have something to gain by all of this is ridiculous. They don't want more workers- they have more than they can employ right now. If they wanted the strikers, I'm sure all of the strikers would go join their union right now. Many of the strikers started working for the union the first Monday after they went on strike. No, they want our install work, and they have admitted it. When I pointed this out to the author of this article, Garrett Andrews, his response was "Camarillo and the workers I talked to said it's not true. And you say no one is investigating this. Isn't the NLRB? Am I missing something?"

Yes Garrett, you're missing a lot! What did you expect the union and the strikers to say? "Yes", they're saying one thing and doing another? And do you know anything about the NLRB? What do you think they would do? The NLRB was created in part by the unions to protect the unions and help them grow. The NLRB is not interested in complaints against union tactics and practices by business folks like me. The union connection is easy to see and understand. I'm sure that a little digging on your part would have been fruitful and time well spent.

A well-known Portland Labor attorney close to this dispute said "As to Local 29's motivation, I think pure and simple they want to put you (Instafab) out of business so union-signatory contractors can take over your market share" Pure and simple.

The spokes-striker said he addressed the issues- I heard him address nothing. He just wants his shot at this "arrogant cheap employer". But the union would be great for our business! It's like a split personality. Who are you today?

Striker- spokesman, instead of taking credit for all of the changes that have been made, how about giving credit where credit is due- communication. We fix what we know about. You don't have to strike to communicate and make positive changes. If making positive changes was ever the goal.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bruce at Instafab on 07/30/2015 at 10:21 AM

Re: “Hall Monitor

gas tax
increased parking fees + expanded pay-to-park zones / parking permits
portland city limits = permit to use studded tires (big fee for permit)
pro-rated vehicle registration based on weight
increase fines for driving and parking infractions
gas tax
gas tax

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MaxD on 07/30/2015 at 10:20 AM

Re: “A Leak in the Bottle

It is very important to understand that big business, big AG and big pharma are trying to use their corporate rights to ascertain all water resources. The Bushes, Nestle, The World Bank and Aveola and others as we speak are hatching big plans on the Earths citizens and water. Google: Water: Fit to Finance and read the 127 page document that the World Water Council has presented. Nestle is on the high level panel. It's evident that we must make this work and keep Nestle out. Everything is at stake. Like us on FB and check out our website: www.localwateralliance.wordpress.com. Also a good source is stopthecrime.net.

41 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by KF on 07/29/2015 at 10:45 PM

Re: “Meet the City's New Cheap Rent Czar

I have a hard time believing in affordable in Portland housing when A) real estate speculation allows for property valuation based not on utility, say like if it were valued to market like a commodity, but on speculation, B) there aren't livable wages to pay to live in affordable housing, except for out-of-state refugees from places where rents have bloated to almost Weimar Republic extravagance, and C) affordable housing's journey from drafting board to ribbon-snipping is so egregiously expensive it's effectively placed unfairly on the backs of others (e.g. that $140 million-dollar shooting gallery, the Bud Clark Commons), when their money should be going to things like our crumbling infrastructure and bolstering our flagging academics.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Gustation on 07/29/2015 at 7:31 PM

Re: “A Leak in the Bottle

So the Governor says "the state will not be a party" to this deal and yet the ODFW, a state agency, appears to be pulling down it's pants and bending over for Nestle. Aren't they supposed to protect and husband water resources rather than facilitate deals to sell them off to any corporation that comes calling?

54 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by rico on 07/29/2015 at 2:47 PM

Re: “A Leak in the Bottle

Hi Shelby, This isn't relevant to your story, but in case you're interested in the type of public shaming Willamette Week is undertaking with this article http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-33520-see_who_paid_their_portland_arts_tax—and_learn_who_didnt.html#disqus_thread , you'll be interested to know that not even Mark Zusman, Editor/Publisher/Owner, paid his art tax in 2013. Or he was exempt because he had too much nontaxable or limited income? In any case, I've now commented several times on the story attempting to shed some light on his delinquency, but each time my comment has been deleted. Do with this what you will. - Robert

5 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Robert Kennedy on 07/29/2015 at 11:28 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

Piss off Laramie.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Bruce at Instafab on 07/29/2015 at 10:33 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

We have addressed the issues Bruce. You in this very comments section say that you have instituted changes based on striker claims.
That alone gives us credibility because of your admittance to having to change.
I am every bit the person I claim to be and have proven to by repeatedly putting myself out there and asking for meetings.

You said this could have been resolved with a conversation but you avoid it at all costs unless it's internet based.

Let's talk

Instafabworkers2015@yahoo

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Lexow on 07/29/2015 at 10:23 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

JTR-

It's not Laramie that's driving this thing, it's Local 29 and Robert Camarillo. They're really pissed off because we have work all over town. They will try to tell you that's not the case, but it's obvious.

Laramie is just being used. Obviously he really enjoys, or needs, the attention.

The fact that they don't address any questions or criticisms is because they can't. The facts don't support them.

Talking to Laramie is a waste of time because his cause is a sham, and he won't give you an honest response. He is not at all the man he claims to be. He is a big-talking fraud.

I've learned a lot about the abusive tactics of the union, and the one sided positions taken by the NLRB. At this point, we will let this thing play out. Guys like Laramie and Camarillo hope that our workers will buy their BS, but I think our workers are smarter than that.

We'll see how it goes. I know that employers are treated by unions and the NLRB as "guilty as charged" right from the start. The shit that the Mercury and NW Labor Press puts out doesn't help. Laramie thinks the press and the public is behind him, but the press is pretty badly slanted, and I don't think that the rest of the world really cares much one way or another.

And you're right. I'm too old for this kind of crap, and I can see myself going and doing something that doesn't require dealing with thugs like Camarillo and his lackeys.

Thanks for following this.

Bruce

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bruce at Instafab on 07/29/2015 at 10:09 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

JTR I have done my research. I am very adept at gathering information.
As far as resolving the current issues, it becomes hard when the only way I can get interaction with Bruce is through this comment section.
Let's talk Bruce.
Instafabworkers2015@yahoo

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Lexow on 07/29/2015 at 9:58 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

Laramie - seriously, man, you need to do your research on the effect that a union could have in a small company, cyclical industry situation like this. You are completely head in the sand about overall costs to workers, limitations on your flexibility, retirement fund security, the BS that comes along with dealing with politics etc, not to mention the effects it would have on the owner's decision to further invest in and grow the business. You are likely better off to push for some calm, frank conversations about the few real issues you have here with the owner (once tempers settle down, that is). There are two sides to every story...don't believe all of the stuff that is being sold to you by the union representatives.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JTR on 07/29/2015 at 9:42 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

If it were up to the employer there wouldn't be ANY Union shops and most workers would be making third world country wages. Of course an arrogant cheap employer doesn't want the workers to fight back.

Ignorance.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Lexow on 07/29/2015 at 8:44 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

Debby, what is more American than a group of people voting in representatives to help them fight for better? That's what Unions are. A group of workers that fight together for better. If it weren't for Unions a lot of the liberties I'm sure you take for granted wouldn't be given to you.
Why can't the men and women on that shop vite for representation? That's how it's not his choice. He doesn't get to choose whether or not his workers want that.
Read up.

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Lexow on 07/29/2015 at 8:39 AM

Re: “High Rises, Low Standards

Being an American means you fight for something better. The Unions are voted in by the workers and then a negotiation begins between the employer and the representative of the workers.
It's not Bruce's choice its the workers. Simple as that.
Whether or not Bruce wants to believe it, it will benefit his shop as well.

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Lexow on 07/29/2015 at 8:31 AM

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