Oregon public worker union rejects merger

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PORTLAND — The governing body of Oregon's largest public employee union has rejected a merger its leadership proposed with another local.

The Oregonian reports the General Council of Local 503 of the Service Employees International Union voted against the merger 118-75. The General Council is the organization's governing body. The vote was taken Saturday.

Local 503 represents about 55,000 state workers and in-home care providers. It's one of the most powerful voices in state politics.

Opponents of the merger with Local 49 said it would rewrite the bylaws to shift more power to the international union's headquarters. Leaders of Local 503 said the goal was a stronger organization to advance the union movement in Oregon.

Local 49 is based in Portland and represents about 10,000 hospital, custodial and security workers.