Let me say this about that

By Gene Klare

August 6, 1999

GLORIA C. SCHIEWE, whose name became synonymous with COPE, has joined Labor's Hall of Fame. The 69-year-old retiree was selected for that honor by the Northwest Oregon Labor Retirees Council.

The retiree organization, which sponsors the Hall of Fame and picks its honorees, is affiliated with the Portland-based Northwest Oregon Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Schiewe retired in 1993 after devoting 25 years to being the Committee on Political Education (COPE) director for the Northwest Oregon Labor Council and its Portland predecessor, the Multnomah County Labor Council. The expanded NOLC also covers Washington, Columbia and Clackamas counties, whose labor councils, at Hillsboro, St. Helens and Oregon City, voted to affiliate with the Portland-based council in the chronological order listed.

In her two-and-half decades in the COPE job, Schiewe did as much as anyone to help get out the voters to elect labor-endorsed candidates in the Portland metro area. And she also went door-to-door in her own southeast Portland neighborhood as a Democratic precinct committeewoman.

SINCE HER RETIREMENT, Schiewe has lived on the Oregon Coast in Wheeler near Nehalem Bay. Her home, which she had built after her retirement, contains some of her own sweat equity. For a change of scene and weather, she can hie off to a mobile home situated near Tampa, close to the Florida home of a longtime friend from her high school days in eastern Oregon near Pendleton.

No idle retiree, she has immersed herself in community, political, senior and labor history activities. She's served four years on the Wheeler Planning Commission; she volunteers on Sundays and holidays at the Nehalem Bay Chamber of Commerce resolving visitors' problems and answering their questions concerning sightseeing; she's treasurer of the Tillamook County Democratic Central Committee. She was active in the Tillamook County Transportation Committee which in 1998 spearheaded voter passage of a tax levy to finance a service district that now provides thrice-weekly bus service to hospitals and other locations in Portland. The tax-supported bus was necessary because commercial lines abandoned the area.

Schiewe also applies her energy to the American Association of Retired Persons, working with longtime labor movement colleague and friend Nellie Fox-Edwards, who is AARP's Oregon president. Schiewe has lobbied for AARP at the Legislature in Salem on transportation and utilities issues. She'll be a delegate to AARP's national convention next May in Orlando, Fla. She continues her longtime interest in the history of the labor movement by serving as a trustee of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association.

When she has time, Schiewe enjoys hiking and cross-country skiing.

SCHIEWE'S FASCINATION with politics started at age seven when living in Washington State. Floyd Corporon, her father, was running for county commissioner in Okanogan County on the Evergreen State's border with Canada. "I put up signs and went door to door with my father and I've loved politics ever since." After his election she traveled with him to Olympia when he lobbied the Legislature for public works funding.

She's a native of Washington, having been born in Ritzville, south of Spokane, on March 18, 1930. By the time she was in high school her widower father had moved to Weston in eastern Oregon's Umatilla County. Of the 17 seniors in her high school graduating class, 15 attended a recent 50th anniversary reunion.

SCHIEWE'S FIRST JOB in the labor movement was as a secretary in the Oregon AFL-CIO offices in the old Portland Labor Temple on the corner of Southwest Fourth Avenue and Jefferson Street, across from City Hall. She was hired in 1962 and left four years later when the state labor federation moved its headquarters to Salem. She worked for legends in the labor movement - Political Director George Brown, Education and Research Director Tom Scanlon. She admired them and the federation's leader, Executive Secretary- Treasurer James T. Marr, who headed the state labor federation longer than anyone, having been the leader of the Oregon State Federation of Labor before he was elected to the top job in the merged Oregon AFL-CIO, a time span of two decades.

Multnomah County Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Thomas J. (Jack) Baker hired Schiewe in 1968 to be the Portland council's COPE director, and it turned out to be a quarter-century career that included being an elected reading clerk at the council's night meetings. She became known to unionists throughout Oregon as a delegate to AFL-CIO state conventions from Portland-based Office and Professional Employees Local 11; as one of the registrars of convention delegates, and as a delegate to state COPE meetings.

OF ALL THE the candidates whose campaigns she assisted, U.S. Senator Wayne Morse was her favorite. She respected him for his lonely opposition in the Senate to the Vietnam War.

Schiewe, who's divorced, has two daughters and six grandchildren. One daughter, Shirley Alhadeff, teaches at Portland's Buckman School, and the other, Patty Bogle, runs a vineyard and winery near Sacramento.


R.C. HENARIE, retired secretary-treasurer of Multnomah Typographical Union No. 58, passed along an article from U.S. News & World Report magazine which says that Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina has teamed up with the National Right-to-Work Committee in its fight against labor unions. The magazine said: "The North Carolina Republican is calling on anti-unionists to help pass the National Right-to-Work Act, which he says would 'repeal forever Big Labor's power to force workers to pay union dues in order to work.' In overheated language, the lawmaker says dues fund 'violent organizing drives, a limousine lifestyle for union bigwigs, and bankroll radical, tax-and-spend politicians like Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton.' "

Helms, a former television commentator, has one of the worst voting records on working family issues.

Southern red-neck Helms pushes the same anti-worker line as Oregon right-wingers Frank Eisenzimmer, a Boring health club magnate and founder of the misnamed Oregon Taxpayers United (OTU); William Lee Sizemore, OTU's resident loudmouth and erstwhile bankrupt businessman and tax delinquent; and Republican State Senate Majority Leader Gene Derfler of Salem, to name a few.


GENE R. LINDHOLM of Estacada, president of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Local 112, sent in the following notice concerning the death of his brother-in-law, Daniel Maltase of Portland:

"Memorial services were held Tuesday, July 20, at 1 p.m. at Lincoln Willamette for Dan Maltase. He retired in December 1984 after serving as president of International Association of Machinists Local 141. Dan also served 20 years as chairman of the Local 141 Grievance Committee. We have lost another good union man. Our prayers go to his family and friends."


THE RECENT REPORTS in the Labor Press by Don McIntosh on the problems of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 with Canadian transit giant Laidlaw Inc. brings to mind this thought: If Laidlaw tried to use in Canada the same labor relations tactics it has employed in the United States, it would quickly run afoul of Canada's much tougher labor laws. Another thought: Perhaps the U.S. needs a law which permits seizure by the U.S. or any state of assets of foreign-owned companies that thumb their noses at American labor and environmental laws.


TRI-MET, the Portland metro area's state-established mass transit system, has hired Laidlaw's former Chicago area general manager as executive director of operations. Why?


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