Steelworker honored for lifetime of service

Wayne Anderson receives a lifetime service award from Linn, Benton, Lincoln Counties Labor Chapter President Lisa Gourley.
Anderson with colleagues from the Steelworkers. From left are Rudy Hashberger, Anderson, Jim Gourley, and Gayland Prescott.

ALBANY, Oregon—Retired Steelworker Wayne Anderson was presented with the “Garner Pool Distinguished Lifetime Service Award” March 16 by the Linn, Benton, Lincoln Counties Central Labor Chapter, AFL-CIO. The award recognizes individuals for lifelong service to the labor movement and their community.

Anderson, 80, was a staff rep for the Steelworkers Union in Arizona and Southern California before relocating to Albany in October 1973. That led to stints as staff director, sub-district director, and political director for Steelworkers District 11.

He was a member of the Democratic National Committee for 12 years, and chaired the Democratic Party of Oregon from 1988 to 1992. He served three years as head of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, and twice represented the state on the U.S. Electoral College.

Anderson was on the committee that led to the formation of the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon in 1977. He served on advisory boards for the Pacific Northwest Labor College, United Way, and the Linn-Benton Economic Development Committee, to name a few.

After retiring in 2000 he remained active in his union and in the community. Today he is financial secretary-treasurer of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR); he volunteers for the SMART reading program for school children; as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), where he helps neglected children who are under the protection of the Juvenile Dependency Court; he assists senior citizens with their taxes through a free program of AARP; and he has made more than 114 contributions of blood and platelets to the American Red Cross.

Wayne Anderson receives a lifetime service award from Linn, Benton, Lincoln Counties Labor Chapter President Lisa Gourley.
Wayne Anderson receives a lifetime service award from Linn, Benton, Lincoln Counties Labor Chapter President Lisa Gourley.

“Wayne is a hard working, dedicated individual, who has lived his life to serve members of our community,” said Labor Chapter President Lisa Gourley. “He is overwhelmingly deserving of our thanks and gratitude for his example and contributions to making Oregon a better place to live.”

The plaque thanked Anderson for his service and concluded with the quote: “Every day given to us is our opportunity to help others.”

“I’ve never been at a loss for words … until now,” he said.

The award is named after the late Garner Pool, a 61-year member of United Food and Commercial Workers, a charter member of the labor chapter in 1948. It is only the second time the award has been made. The first was to Pool in 2011.

Pool held every office in the council at one time or another.

Anderson, 80, came to Oregon from the mining industry in the 1970s. He  became involved with United Steelworkers of America in Albany after taking a job at XXX. He was hired as a staff rep, working under District 11 Director Robert Petrus and Sub-Director John Rusen, both prominent national union leaders. Anderson was involved in all aspects of the union, organizing new shops, negotiating contracts, and assisting locals at various plants. He also was the union’s political director for many years.

He served as chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon for four years.

He continues to be active in Oregon politics as a Benton County precinct person.

Anderson was on the committee that led to the formation of the University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) in 1977.

Today he is financial secretary treasurer of SOAR (Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees). And active is an understatement.

Anderson volunteers for the SMART reading program for school children and at CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), where he helps abused and neglected children who are under the protection of the juvenile court. For the past 13 years he has helped senior citizens prepare their taxes through a free program of AARP. And he recently reached the Red Cross 115-Pint Club as a blood donor.

It’s only the second time the Garner Pool award has been made. The first was to Pool in 2011. Pool was a 61-year member of UFCW and a charter member of the Linn-Benton-Lincoln CLC in 1948.

Labor leaders, layman, students, and workers from all over the Northwest have been the beneficiaries of his insight and foresight of developing such a Educational benefit labor Center for all attendees.

Annabelle Jaramillo, chair of the Benton County Board of Commissioners, running for a fifth term.

The plaque thanks Anderson for his years of service and concludes with the quote: “Every day given to us is our opportunity to help others.”

Lisa Gourley, President    Jim Gourley, Sec-Treas

“I’ve never been at a loss for words … until now,” said Anderson, in receiving the award from CLC President Lisa Gourley.

The Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) at the University of Oregon was established in 1977 by an act of the Oregon Legislature. LERC’s founding was promoted by an alliance of unions, legislators, university faculty, labor relations professionals, and community leaders who believed that workers and unions in Oregon needed a specific program granting them access to the resources and expertise of the state’s higher education system. LERC’s mission is to:

1 Comment on Steelworker honored for lifetime of service

  1. Wayne Anderson helped the workers of Philips Industries of Stayton Oregon to unionize in the 1980’s. While we were not successful because of the unlawful behavior of Philips Industries and Ronald Reagan’s anti-union judge, we did make our contribution to the working people there at that time. Marsha Leffler should also be recognized for her tireless efforts. She will be remembered for her courage and commitment to the labor movement.

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