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November 12th, 2008 WW Editorial Staff | Rogue of the Week
 

Rainbow Adult Living

Busted!

     
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True, trade unions sometimes flex too much muscle in Oregon with Democrats whose campaigns they underwrite.

But when it comes to retaliatory union-busting by employers, our tolerance is even lower. Based on new charges detailed by the feds that allege Rainbow Adult Living fired employees who tried to unionize its 50-plus workers, we’re raising our fist to make Rainbow this week’s Rogue.

The Portland-based chain of five homes for people with mental disabilities is the target of charges filed Oct. 16 by the National Labor Relations Board for union-busting shenanigans. Those charges now go to an administrative law judge for judgment or settlement.

The NLRB accuses Rainbow CEO Mike Larson of coercing employees into ratting on each other for airing grievances, interrogating caregiver Steve Tenhonen about group concerns presented at a meeting last spring, and firing Tenhonen on July 9 in retaliation for union activity.

The feds also accuse program director James Atkins of threatening medical specialist Greg Scoles and firing him Aug. 7 for union activity.

The charges were a victory for Tenhonen, who began trying to organize a union in April and who’s been blowing the whistle on Rainbow at the NLRB since he was fired.

“I’m really excited and thrilled,” Tenhonen says now that the national labor board is backing him. Tenhonen says he still hopes to get his job back.

As for the alleged union-busters, Larson did not return repeated phone calls.

 
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