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Friday, March 30, 2012

Union Stylists

Posted by Nathan Gilles on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 12:36 PM

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Disgruntled workers at Portland’s five upscale Dosha salon spas are continuing to fight with management over working conditions. In March of 2011, employees voted to join the Communications Workers of American Local 7901, and since then, they say Dosha has consistently retaliated against union supporters. Now employees are calling for mediation.

According to a press release by Dosha Workers United, the union is currently seeking a mediator to facilitate between them and managers. To push their case, the workers have issued a petition asking their fellow Portlanders to support the mediation process, which they say is necessary because Dosha management has been strong-arming union supporters.

In February of this year, according to Northwest Labor Press, Dosha fired a massage therapist for his union affiliation. That firing in turn came after another pro-union employee, Mary Christ, was fired for reportedly wearing red feather earrings, a symbol of the union, to work. A National Labor Relations Board investigation later determined Dosha was out of line and had in fact terminated Christ for her union support.

The Dosha workers’ organizing campaign started roughly three years ago when employees became feed up with what they said were Dosha’s substandard working conditions (which they said also included a general lack of cleanliness at the spas. Yuck!) In January of this year, organizing efforts got a big boast when more than 800 unionized employees from other Oregon businesses signed a petition of support.

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