Let me say this about that

By Gene Klare

April 19, 2002

MIKE AND SANDY FAHEY received awards and applause from the Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC) for their humanitarian work of running a food bank, now in its 20th year, in the basement of the Carpenters Hall at 2205 North Lombard Street, on the corner of Brandon Avenue, in Portland.

The Food Bank is known as the Carpenters Food Bank and also as the Union Food Bank. It serves needy members and retirees of all unions and also down-on-their-luck workers and seniors who don't belong to a labor union. It is affiliated with the Oregon Food Bank.

The Carpenters Food Bank gives away about 500 boxes of food every month - on the third Friday from noon to 4 p.m. The Faheys estimate that there are about 1,700 men, women and children in the families that receive the boxes.

THE BOXES CONTAIN basic grocery staples plus whatever extras might have been donated by wholesalers, retail markets and individuals to the Union Food Bank or to the Oregon Food Bank for distribution to its affiliates.

Mike and Sandy were among the unionists honored at NOLC's fifth annual Labor Appreciation and Recognition Night on Saturday, April 6, in the dining room of the Westmoreland Union Manor retiree apartment complex at Southeast 23rd Avenue and McLoughlin Boulevard in Portland.

The Union Food Bank was started two decades ago to provide assistance to strikers of Steelworkers Local 3010 who were locked in a union-busting dispute with Oregon Steel Mills in North Portland. At that time Mike was financial secretary and business agent of Shipwrights Local 611, an affiliate of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. His office was in the Carpenters Hall. At first, the Faheys managed the Food Bank from his upstairs office. Since the merger of Marine Carpenters Local 6 l l into Pile Drivers and Divers Local 2416, they've overseen the Food Bank from their North Portland home. Helping with the Food Bank's operation are volunteers from a number of unions.

THE MERGER caused Fahey to seek other employment, and he now is in the home mortgage business with Discover Mortgage Company at 6234 N. Greeley Ave.

In presenting framed certificates of appreciation to the Faheys, NOLC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Judy O'Connor noted Mike's long service to the labor movement. In addition to being the leader of Local 611, he was executive secretary-treasurer of the Portland Metal Trades Council and also of the Pacific Coast Marine Carpenters District Council, and was active in the Pacific Coast Metal Trades. O'Connor also pointed out that Fahey had served in the Oregon Legislature as a Democratic state representative from North Portland. That was in the 1990s.

Early in his career, Mike was a member of the United Paperworkers employed at a roofing plant. The Carpenters Food Bank is supported by financial contributions from local unions and other labor organizations, plus checks from individuals. Contributions can be sent to Carpenters Food Bank, Post Office Box 17358, Portland, Oregon 97217.

THE ENTRANCE to the Food Bank is at the rear of the Carpenters Local 247 building. Steps lead down to the basement. Volunteers provide assistance to those who have difficulty navigating the steps.


JOHN WARREN BALL of Canby, a longtime officer in the International Woodworkers of America (IWA), died Tuesday, April 2, after suffering a heart attack. He was 75.

He was secretary-treasurer of the Gladstone-based IWA Region 3 until the Woodworkers split into two separate unions - the IWA-USA and the IWA-Canada. Then he was elected secretary-treasurer of the IWA-USA, which was headquartered in Gladstone. He held that post until his retirement. The IWA later merged with the Machinists.

GOVERNOR VIC ATIYEH appointed Ball to a four-year term on the Oregon State Board of Forestry and he chaired that panel.

Ball served on major committees of the Oregon AFL-CIO and was active in the former Oregon Industrial Union Council. A number of younger union leaders regarded him as their mentor. One was Sue Pisha of the Communications Workers of America, who was elected president of the Portland local and moved up to being the CWA's Denver-based vice president.

Born in Los Angeles on Feb. 1, 1927, John's family moved to Lebanon, Oregon, when he was 11. When he started working in the woods as a logger, he joined the Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World) and later the Woodworkers. He was an effective organizer for the Woodworkers. Survivors include his wife, the former Doris Tancre, whom he married in 1952; a brother, William Ball; and several nieces and nephews.

The family suggested that memorial contributions be made to a favorite charity.


RAYMOND EARL HEREFORD, a retired leader of the former Portland Grain Millers Local 61, died on April 1 at the age of 76.

He was born on Feb. 15, l926 in Woodburn. After World War II service in the United States Navy he became a grain miller at Centennial Flour Mills in northwest Portland. He took an active interest in his union, Grain Millers Local 61, and eventually was elected as its executive secretary-treasurer and business agent. The Grain Millers later merged with the Bakers Union.

He married Lynda Schwint in 1947, and after her death in 1976 he was wed to Shirley Hudnut. They were later divorced. He married Juanita McGraw in 1987 and she died in 1998.

Survivors include two sons, Mark and Michael who is a former president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555; a daughter, Marilyn Norris; a sister, Shirley Miller; a brother, Richard Hereford; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family said remembrances can be made to the American Diabetes Association.


UNION MEMBERS have told the Northwest Labor Press that they are puzzled by some of the reporting and editing practices of the New York-owned, anti-union Portland Oregonian newspaper.

For example, unionists don't understand why the Newhouse chain newspaper, in reporting on a labor convention, queries management people for their reaction to labor's policy resolutions and then inserts those opinions into a news story of the labor convention. Also, the Oregonian asks anti-union initiative petition hack William Lee Sizemore for his reaction to policy positions taken by labor convention delegates. Then, the newspaper inserts Sizeless's comments into a news story about the labor convention.

The Oregonian does the same thing in reporting on meetings by the Oregon Democratic Party. Its reporters ask Republican leaders for their comments on what the Democrats did and then clutters up what should be a report on a Democratic Party meeting with what Republican Party honchos think about the policy positions the Democrats took.

BUT THE NON-UNION Oregonian doesn't follow the same practice in reporting on meetings by business groups and Republicans, and in news stories on the publicity-seeking utterances of Sizeless and his so-called Oregon Taxpayers United. The Newhouse newspaper doesn't query labor people for their opinions on what the Chamber of Commerce or some other business group did at their meetings. Nor does the N.Y.-owned paper ask Democratic leaders for comments on Republican conventions so that those quotes can be inserted into a story on the Republicans' policy positions. And, Sizeless's blatherings appear in print without challenges from labor people who are the targets of his ballot measures.


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