Morel Ink, a union print shop and mail house, is under new ownership. In July, longtime owners Bill Dickey and Matt Witham sold the business to longtime employees Scott Ballo and Alli Wood and their spouses Shauna Ballo and Ben Wood. Dickey will continue on as an employee.
Morel Ink, named for the wild mushroom Dickey learned to pick growing up in Oregon, employs 19 members of Teamsters Local 747-M. They earn wages of about $26 an hour on average, plus health and retirement benefits. Local 747-M is part of the Teamsters’ Graphic Communications Conference.
Morel specializes in political direct mail for union-friendly political candidates and organizations. It also produces union mailing, banners and signs, including picket signs. Production takes place at its main facility at 4824 NE 42nd Avenue in Portland and at its subsidiary, ADCO Commercial Printing & Graphics in Vancouver. Morel Ink also mails the NW Labor Press.
Scott Ballo, at Morel since 2009, formerly worked for union-backed political groups and politicians like former Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski. His wife Shauna Ballo was formerly a communications director for SEIU Local 49 and for Basic Rights Oregon. Alli Wood has worked as Morel’s bookkeeper since 2004.