The Death of George Floyd and the Protests Sweeping our State and Nation

The Oregon State Building & Construction Trades Council wants to send our heartfelt condolences to the family of George Floyd and to the communities of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Raeford, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas.

Our Council is an umbrella organization comprised of 30 affiliate Local Building and Construction Trades Unions, representing tens of thousands of skilled trades workers in the state of Oregon. The construction trade unions are organizations where underrepresented people seek opportunities, a path to family wage jobs, and a future for their families and communities.

The Building Trades movement is rooted in the fight for justice on the job sites. We take pride in working on initiatives to make our unions more inclusive and welcoming to all. And work with community allies across the state on policies that promote and enhance economic wellbeing, justice and fairness for our Black, Brown, Native, Asian, Pacific Islanders, Indigenous people, Women, Immigrants, and our LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers across the State of Oregon.

“The Building Trades movement is rooted in the fight for justice on the job sites. One of our core purposes has always been to exercise our First Amendment Right,” said Robert Camarillo, Executive Secretary of the Oregon State Building & Construction Trades Council. “I have no doubt that we have shared the streets with many of you more than once in our many protests in demand for justice for workers. Just like you have stood with us, we stand in solidarity with you, and the millions of activated people across the state, the nation, and the world demanding an end to systemic racism and justice for Mr. George Floyd and his family.”

Our affiliate unions and their members represent thousands of workers of color as well as, women, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ people. We will not be silent as our communities, state and nation combat this deep-rooted, vicious pandemic known as racism. Systemic racism has deep roots in many organizations and public institutions, and we must work diligently to wipe it out once and for all.

As Delores Huerta, the great Latina labor leader and civil rights leader, once said: “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”

We agree with Ms. Huerta—we have an obligation to our members, our families and our communities. We will not look the other way or stand idle and silent. Together, we will use our voice in the State Legislature, in our local governments, and our communities to fight for good jobs, fair wages, economic justice, and racial equality. Together, we will continue to fight for systematic change.