By Emily Scarvie
(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Friday, Dec. 17 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.
On Friday morning, Fred Meyer and QFC workers officially went on strike after they say Kroger, the stores’ parent company, stopped paying employees hourly hazard pay. According to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Fred Meyer and QFC workers cannot afford to live in the communities they work in. The union’s statement also said Kroger has enjoyed record profits while many of their employees struggled during the pandemic.
“Fred Meyer’s callous disregard for their own essential workers is stunning considering the sacrifice these employees have made throughout the pandemic,” the UFCW said in a statement, per FOX 12. “While so many were able to stay safely in their own homes, essential grocery workers showed up to work helping feed our communities. These employers should recognize their sacrifice by treating these workers with the basic respect they deserve.”
Fred Meyer released a statement saying the company would continue negotiations. The strike began at 6 a.m. on Friday and employees say they’re hoping it leads to negotiations for better contracts.
Researchers at Oregon Health and Sciences University announced Thursday that people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and have a breakthrough infection could acquire “super immunity” to the virus. According to their findings, people who were fully vaccinated and had a mild breakthrough case had more antibodies in their blood than those who had been vaccinated but not infected with the virus.
The study took blood samples from 52 OHSU employees who had been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine and compared the samples from those who had breakthrough cases to those that hadn’t. Researchers found that people who had a breakthrough case had a better immune response.
The researchers said this is good news, as it suggests that people who have received the vaccine and been infected with the virus will be better equipped to fight off new variants, including omicron. This means that as more people get vaccinated and are exposed to the virus, the global population will become more immune to COVID-19.
This week, Portland-metro school districts are warning parents of a nationwide trend on TikTok involving violent threats, including shooting and bomb threats, toward schools on Friday. Several school officials have said they plan to increase security on campuses, but most of the threats have been deemed not credible.
Portland Public Schools sent a letter to families on Thursday, saying, “This week in PPS, we have investigated threats of violence on our campuses made via social media and have found them to not be credible. These threats have been, for the most part, hoaxes, but they create fear and anxiety, and they can far too easily disrupt the education that all students are entitled to. These are not victimless acts.” PPS also encouraged anyone who sees suspicious activity to report it.
Tips regarding threats or suspicious activity at any Oregon schools can be reported anonymously to the Safe Oregon tip line via text or call at (844) 472-3367.
The Lents Holiday Pop-Up Market is happening this weekend for two days only and features local businesses and vendors, DIY gift wrapping, live music and an array of food and drinks from local restaurants. Those who attend the market will receive a special neighborhood discount for partner restaurants and retailers to encourage further exploration of the Lents neighborhood. There will also be an after party at Zoigalhaus Brewing Company from 7-10 p.m.
The market runs from 11-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and attendance is free. To learn more, check out their Instagram.