IBEW Local 89 organizes legislative aides in Oregon

The work of legislative staff is often overlooked. These people work hard to steer legislation and policy while also acting as the point of contact who schedules appearances and connects the public with their representatives.

IBEW Local 89 Business Representative and Organizer Tony Ruiz joined AWF Union Podcast with legislative aide to Oregon State Senator Michael Dembrow Logan Gilles to provide an update on an organizing drive and why legislative staff deserve workplace representation.

What does a legislative aide do?

Gilles said legislative staff in Oregon typically consists of one person, regardless of workload. The legislative session can last six weeks in some years and six months in others, meaning the workload varies by year.

He explained how he does everything from shaping policy to acting as a first point of contact for constituents and scheduling appearances and more.

Gilles explained how he has worked with Senator Dembrow since 2009 and has formed a quality relationship with him. In his time, they have worked in tandem to push pro-worker legislation such as paid sick leave, expanded apprenticeship requirements for public contracts and more.

IBEW Local 89 involvement

Ruiz said IBEW Local 89 is unique because it is apolitical, meaning they do not endorse candidates, do not have a PAC and do not make campaign contributions.

However, Local 89 identified the long-discussed need to organize legislative staff in the state. He said the plan has been in discussion for a while now, culminating in talks that began in summer 2020. They are excited that the details are being pinned down and a vote should happen in the coming month.

The two discussed difficulties, citing very little other than some attempts by anti-union lawmakers who have questioned the constitutionality of the organizing drive.

Despite any difficulties, Ruiz and Gilles are mutually excited for the vote, which they believe will be successful.


America’s Work Force Radio Podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you stream your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iHeart Radio


AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS THE ONLY DAILY LABOR-RADIO PROGRAM IN THE US AND HAS BEEN ON THE AIR SINCE 1993, SUPPLYING LISTENERS WITH USEFUL, RELEVANT INPUT INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES THROUGH FACT-FINDING FEATURES, IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS, INFORMATIVE NEWS SEGMENTS AND PRACTICAL CONSUMER REPORTS. AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ACCESSIBLE VENUE IN WHICH AMERICA’S WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN HEAR DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANT, RELEVANT TOPICS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, HEALTHCARE, LEGISLATIVE ACTION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, FINANCES, LOCAL AND NATIONAL POLITICS, CONSUMER REPORTS AND LABOR ISSUES.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, CUYAHOGA COUNTY VETERAN SERVICE COMMISSION, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.