Let me say this about that

By Gene Klare

July 5, 2002

BOB HALL, a former business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48 and a retired lobbyist for Portland General Electric (PGE), has been honored with membership in Labor's Hall of Fame.

Hall was voted into the Labor Hall of Fame by its sponsor, the Northwest Oregon Labor Retirees Council, which is affiliated with the Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC). The retirees hold their monthly meetings in NOLC's suite of offices at 1125 SE Madison St., Portland.

The new Hall of Famer retired from PGE in December 1997 as a lobbyist at the Oregon Legislature and also an external labor relations representative. But he still does consulting work for the Enron-owned PGE on siting and regulation of thermal power plants. Along with thousands of others of employees of Enron and its subsidiaries, Hall is a victim of the damage done to their 401(k) savings accounts by the Houston-based energy giant's financial collapse.

ROBERT ERNEST HALL was born in Portland on Aug. 7, l940 and grew up in Grants Pass. After graduating from Grants Pass High School, he attended what was then Southern Oregon State College in Ashland. Then came four years in the United States Air Force in radar operations in Montana and Germany, followed by more education at a school of aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied air frame engineering and also learned to fly.

Hall returned to Oregon in 1964 and a job with Flightcraft at the Troutdale Airport in East Multnomah County, where the firm ran an aircraft maintenance service and a charter plane operation. Hall married Joanne Fry on Friday, Nov. 5, 1965. On the following Monday he was walking a picket line at Flightcraft, where he was active in an organizing campaign conducted by Machinists Local 1005. His wife was familiar with picket lines and union organizing drives because her father, Ted Fry, had been business manager of Linoleum Layers Local 1236. He later was assistant director of apprenticeship for the Oregon Bureau of Labor.

The Flightcraft organizing campaign was unsuccessful and in its wake the Machinists Union found Hall several short-term jobs before placing him at Willamette Iron & Steel as a marine electrician's helper. Working on that job prompted Hall to apply for IBEW Local 48's apprenticeship program. He was accepted and began his apprenticeship in 1966.

UPON COMPLETING his apprenticeship in 1970, Hall worked as a journeyman inside wireman and became active in Local 48. In November 1973 he was appointed as a business representative by Art Bauder, the union's business manager. Bauder later assigned Hall to work as a lobbyist for the union at the Oregon Legislature in Salem. When Bauder retired at the start of 1980, the Local 48 Executive Board appointed Hall to succeed him as business manager. Hall won election to the post later that year. He still maintains his dues-paying membership in Local 48.

Hall was active in the labor movement. He held the offices of secretary and president in the Oregon State Association of Electrical Workers; served on the Northwest Oregon Labor Council's Executive Board; was treasurer and on the Board of Directors of the Union Labor Retirement Association, which built the Union Manor apartment complexes for retired workers. He also was a delegate to several central labor councils in addition to NOLC.

HALL ALSO SERVED the State of Oregon as a governor-appointed member of a number of boards. He said Governors Vic Atiyeh and Neil Goldschmidt each appointed him to a four-year term on the Electrical Safety Board, and that he spent three years on Gov. Atiyeh's Task Force on Workers' Compensation. Gov. Barbara Roberts named Hall to a four-year term on the Energy Conservation Board. His state service took place in his Local 48 years and also during his career with PGE. HALL WAS HIRED for PGE's governmental and public affairs staff in September 1983 by Edward J. Whelan, a PGE executive who'd earlier been president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. Hall worked for the electric utility for 14 years.

Long after his years in the U.S. Air Force, Hall continues his interest in aviation as a licensed private pilot and plane owner. His plane is a 1964 Cessna 150 two-seater. Earlier this year, he helped form the Troutdale chapter of the Oregon Pilots Association and serves as its treasurer. Bob and Joanne Hall have two sons, a daughter and a three-month-old granddaughter.

Steven is a journeyman lineman member of Electrical Workers Local 125; David is an apprentice electrician with IBEW Local 48; and Juli is a certified medical assistant.


PHYLLIS GREENE RICKS of Portland, a longtime union office secretary, died June 24 at age 66. She had suffered from health problems for some time and died in a hospice from complications that developed after surgery, said her daughter, Gail Rosebrook.

She was born on Jan. 19, 1936 in Longview, Washington, and lived in Central Oregon for much of her early life.

Mrs. Ricks was a member of Office and Professional Employees Local 11 of Portland when she was the secretary for Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 9201, which is now Local 7901. Later, as the secretary in the CWA's regional office in Portland, she belonged to San Francisco Office Employees Local 3 because it represented secretaries in CWA regional offices in the West.

E. R. (DEL) RICKS, whom she married in 1972, had worked for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and later became executive director of Labor's Community Service Agency. Using her secretarial and administrative skills, she played a key role in keeping conventions of the Oregon State Industrial Union Council running smoothly in the years when the organization's presidency was held first by her boss at the CWA local, James Manley, and later by her husband, Del Ricks. Del Ricks died in 1999 after a long illness resulting from a heart attack. Mrs. Ricks devoted herself to taking care of him in the years after his long hospitalization. She was also preceded in death by a son, Scott Rosebrook, who died at 39.

In addition to her daughter, Gail Rosebrook, Mrs. Ricks is survived by her mother, Lois B. Walker; a brother, Stephen Walker; nieces and a nephew.

A MEMORIAL SERVICE for Mrs. Ricks was held Monday, July 1, at Gateway Little Chapel of the Chimes in Northeast Portland.

Remembrances can be sent to the Oregon Health and Science University's Diabetes Center in care of the OHSU Foundation, 1121 SW Salmon St., Portland OR 97205.


WILLIAM C. WESTERGARD of Vancouver, Wash., who retired in 1988 as director of Region 4 of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, died May 24 at the age of 82.

His obituary in the Vancouver Columbian newspaper said he was a U.S. Army paratrooper in World War II who later became a journeyman in Portland-based Sheet Metal Workers Local 16. He was hired as an organizer for the international union in the mid-1950s and later was assigned as an international representative in the Northwest. In 1983 he was appointed regional director. He was born Nov. 3, 1919 in Bisbee, North Dakota. He was a boxer in his younger years. He had lived in Vancouver since 1945.

A memorial service was held at Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel in Vancouver. Memorial contributions can be sent to Shriners Hospital for Children, 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Portland OR 97201.


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