One of Oregon’s largest labor unions wants to reinstate Oregon’s ban on self-serve gas. It’s trying to get the question put on the ballot so voters can decide in November 2024.
UFCW Local 555 cited attendant jobs as one of their concerns as why they want to overturn the law.
“We have fuel stations within some of our bargaining units and we have seen not necessarily layoffs, but job loss to attrition. So people who quit, they just don’t replace them because they don’t necessarily need to,” Miles Eshaia with UFC Local 555 told KOIN-TV.
“It’s for accessibility and safety. You have individuals who have trouble pumping their own gas and can’t find an attendant or they don’t want to get out of their car late at night,” Eshaia added.
The move comes less than three months after the ban on self-serve gas was repealed through a bipartisan bill in the Oregon Legislature. It allows stations in the most populous counties like Deschutes to have both self-serve and fuel attendant options, while more rural counties such as Crook and Jefferson have the option to go completely self-serve.
State. Rep. Charlie Conrad, R-Lane County, was one of the bill’s sponsors and says there were too many different statutes depending on where you were at in the state.
“That’s not efficient and for people in Oregon and traveling through Oregon, they don’t know the county size. They don’t know the hours. They don’t know those kinds of things,” Conrad said.
Lawmakers say this was a needed move amid ongoing labor shortages.
“You’ve got to give it some time to stabilize. Anytime you have major policy changes, there’s going to be an adjustment period. So a year from now, let’s look at where we’re at and see if things have changed,” Conrad said.
The union would need to get more than 117,000 signatures by next summer to get the measure on the November 2024 ballot.