Weekly roundup: Burgerville union win, Nike shakeup and Josephine County pot lawsuit

A curated roundup of this week’s events, scandals, deals and more.

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TechFest NW 2018 gets underway today.  The two-day event features high profile local and national speakers talking about tech trends in food, health, transportation and real estate. Workshops, parties, gadgets and more. Plus, it all takes place in Portland State’s glamorous new Viking Pavilion. 

Health Care Forum

Sen. Ron Wyden will join business and health care leaders to discuss health care policy changes at the federal level. Tomorrow at the MAC club.


The Wall Street Journal is tracking Nike’s corporate culture shakeup. To catch you up: Following complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior at the sneaker and sportswear giant, Nike announced March 15 that brand president Trevor Edwards would step down. Jayme Martin, Nike’s vice president and general manager of global categories, has also resigned.

According to the Journal (subscription reuqired) Nike’s HR chief said in a memo the company does not hire enough women or minorities. Word has it that more top executives will be shown the door.

Oregon’s long running business energy tax credit saga comes to an end. As reported in OregonLive, a former administrator for the Oregon Department of Energy’s beleaguered energy credit program has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for accepting $300,000 in bribes to participate in a money laundering scheme and defrauding the IRS. The scheme dates back to 2012.


After the high.  Officials in Josephine County, long opposed to legalization, are suing the state in federal court. They argue that while pot is legal in Oregon it remains illegal under federal law, which trumps local regulations. The Statesman Journal reports.

OB research editor Kim Moore dives into a lawsuit filed by Maupin business owners and community members alleging a PGE dam is ruining their livelihoods.

All of a sudden, unions are back. Or they’re making headlines.  After almost two years of campaigining, worker aiming to unionize a Burgerville scored a win today after the company announced today that it will allow Portland employees to vote to on whether or not they want to unionize. Willamette Week has the story. 

Meanwhile, Facebook got some (more) unwanted attention, this time for hiring non union laborers to work on the data center expansion, reports the Bend Bulletin.

OB reporter Caleb Diehl reports on trends driving change in college internship programs. The cost of college and a strong economy are fueling a boom in paid internships, but unpaid programs still flourish.


Two Portland startups hit the jackpot this week. Stackery raised $5.5 million from investors for its software that helps enterprise customers manage serverless infrastructure.  Lytics, a company that helps corporate marketers analyze and interpret online customer data, raised $14 million to fund an expanded product line, reports the Portland Business Journal. The company’s clients include Heineken, General Mills, Nestle, AdWeek and Atlassian.