AFSCME Local 189 Endorses Vadim Mozyrsky for City Council Over Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

The labor union endorsed Hardesty in 2018 for City Council.

BUILDING BRIDGES: Vadim Mozyrsky on the Burnside Bridge. (MELISSA TOLED0)

A labor union that represents 1,000 city of Portland workers has decided to endorse Vadim Mozyrsky for City Council over the incumbent, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75 confirmed to WW that the endorsement from Local 189 has been decided, though it’s not been announced publicly yet.

The endorsement is significant, in part because AFSCME endorsed Hardesty in her 2018 city commissioner race when she went to a runoff with candidate Loretta Smith. (Local 189 endorsed another candidate in the May primary; she came in sixth, and therefore did not make the runoff.)

Union leadership did not immediately provide comment about the endorsement. However, Local 189 president Rob Martineau tells WW that the union requires a two-thirds majority in order to endorse a candidate. The vote took place on Tuesday night at the general membership meeting.

“As city commissioner, I will work daily to build trust and confidence with the city of Portland employees, our trade unions and laborers. I’m honored to have them in my growing coalition to unify Portland,” Mozyrsky tells WW.

Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Hardesty’s campaign manager, told WW: “With support from over 120,000 workers including new support from the Oregon Working Families Party and UFCW, Oregon’s largest private sector union, we are grateful to have a majority of support from labor in this race.”

Hardesty and Mozyrsky so far this spring have split major labor endorsements.

Mozyrsky has received endorsements from the Joint Council of Teamsters No. 37, which represents more than 23,000 members across three states; SMART Local 16, which represents sheet metal workers; and the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, which represents more than 20,000 construction workers in Oregon and Vancouver, Wash.

Mozyrsky also recently garnered the endorsement of the Laborers International Union of North America Local 737, which represents 2,500 construction and road workers in Oregon.

Hardesty so far has received the endorsements of Service Employees International Union Local 503, which represents more than 72,000 public service employees; SEIU Local 49, which represents more than 15,000 workers; and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 8, representing around 400 members. She’s also received the endorsement of the union that represents Portland Community College faculty.

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