Tommy “Teamster” Malloy, 1924-2013

Tommy ‘Teamster’ Malloy, a retired business agent and lobbyist for Teamsters Joint Council No. 37, died Jan. 27 of age-related causes at his home in Southwest Portland. He was 88.

Tommy Malloy

Thomas James Malloy was born into a Teamsters family in Milwaukie, Oregon, on July 24, 1924. His father, grandfather, and five uncles were all members of the Teamsters. Malloy, himself, was a 54-year member, joining Teamsters Local 206 after taking a job as a warehouseman after graduating from high school.

He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1942 and served in World War II. After leaving the military in 1946, Malloy was hired as an organizer for Teamsters Cannery Local 681. He worked as a “salt” at Libby’s cannery in Portland, signing up new union members. He was fired from Libby’s when the employer found out what he was doing.

Malloy was hired by the union as a business representative and was working for Local 681 when Dave Beck, director of the Western Conference of Teamsters, assigned him to the Puget Sound area as an organizer.

Beck sent Malloy back to Portland in 1949 to take over Teamsters Automotive Local 255, which had been placed in trusteeship. He left Local 255 in 1960 to take the reins of Teamsters and Chauffers Local 281. A short time later he was appointed secretary-treasurer of the Chauffeurs Division of the Western Conference of Teamsters.

Malloy was elected as a trustee on the Executive Board of Joint Council No. 37 in 1980. He left that post three years later to accept an appointment as a Joint Council representative assigned to serve the union as its political coordinator and legislative lobbyist. When he retired from the dual post in 1987, Malloy ranked as the longest-serving Teamster representative in the Western Conference, with 41 years.

After his “retirement,” Council 37 asked him to continue as its political and legislative representative on a contract basis, which he did until 2005.

Malloy’s civic endeavors included serving as a trustee of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and on the board of the Housing Authority of Portland. The latter came via appointments by Mayors Terry Schrunk and Neil Goldschmidt.

On Feb. 1, 2013, Teamsters Joint Council No. 37 announced that it was adding Malloy’s name to the Teamsters Clyde C. Crosby/Joseph M. Edgar Memorial Scholarship Fund. The program offers scholarships to children of active, retired, disabled, or deceased members of a local union affiliated with the Joint Council.

Malloy is survived by his wife of 52 years, Eleanor “Frankie”; daughters Shelli Niiyama and Tricia Anderson; son Steven; five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by son Michael “Mickey.”

Services were arranged by Riverview Abbey, a Teamster-represented funeral home located in Southwest Portland.

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