Let me say this about that

By Gene Klare

October 6, 2000

"TOMMY 'TEAMSTER' MALLOY" is the way his name appears on his business card followed by this job title, "Political Coordinator and Lobbyist, Joint Council of Teamsters No. 37." Portlander Malloy has held that title since 1983 when he became a Joint Council 37 representative after a long career as an organizer and local union executive officer. In recognition of his many years of service to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Malloy has become the first IBT member chosen by the Northwest Oregon Labor Retirees Council for its Labor Hall of Fame.

A native Oregonian, Thomas James Malloy was born in Milwaukie on July 24, 1924. His membership in the IBT was preordained because his father and five uncles were Teamsters, as was his grandfather, who was the stablemaster at the Marshall Wells delivery service's livery stable in northwest Portland's Slabtown district in the early 1900s.

AFTER GRADUATING from Milwaukie High School in 1941, Malloy worked as a warehouseman at Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in St. Johns for about a year, joining Teamsters Local 206. In 1942, with World War II under way, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and was called to active duty in early 1943, serving in Alaska, California and Washington, D.C.

After being honorably discharged from the Coast Guard in 1946, Malloy was hired as an organizer for Teamsters Cannery Local 681 and took a job in the Libby's cannery off Portland's Southeast Powell Boulevard at 87 cents an hour. The union was paying him $5 a day for organizing until the employer realized what he was doing and fired him. "I was then employed full time as a union organizer, passing out literature and visiting Libby employees in their homes," Malloy recalled. "We lost a representation election but I was retained as a business representative for the union." He worked for Local 681 until he was summoned to Seattle by Western Conference of Teamsters Director Dave Beck, who assigned him to work in the Puget Sound area as an organizer.

BECK SENT MALLOY back to Portland early in 1949 to take charge of Teamsters Automotive Local 255, which was under trusteeship by the international union. For the next decade Malloy represented IBT members employed "in all segments of the automotive trades that were identified as within the Teamsters' jurisdiction in metropolitan Portland and outlying areas." He added: "We were instrumental in pioneering some of the very first health and welfare and union pension programs in the Northwest. We negotiated some of the first contracts that provided employer-paid premiums for health care and pension coverage - about $8.65 a month for openers."

Malloy was appointed as a policy committee member of the Automotive Trades Division of the Western Conference of Teamsters and served in that capacity for the many years that he worked in the automotive jurisdiction.

IN 1960, MALLOY resigned as Local 255's president and was appointed by the international union to take the reins of Teamsters and Chauffeurs Local 281. At that time the local primarily represented taxicab drivers, but in the ensuing years it was expanded through organizing and mergers to include laundry truck drivers, armored car drivers, embalmers and funeral directors, garbage truck drivers and owners, plus other job classifications. While with Local 281 Malloy was appointed secretary-treasurer of the Chauffeurs Division of the Western Conference of Teamsters and served in that post for many years. He also was active in two inter-union councils in which he worked with AFL-CIO unions in organizing campaigns and other mutual-aid efforts. These were the Portland Automotive Employees Council and the Portland Provision Trades Council, which covered food and allied industries.

IN 1980, Malloy was elected as a trustee on the Executive Board of Teamsters Joint Council 37, a position he'd held 19 years earlier. In 1983 he left the trustee post to accept an appointment as a Joint Council representative assigned to serve the union as its political coordinator and legislative lobbyist. When he retired from that dual post in 1987, he ranked as the longest-serving - with 41 years - Teamster representative in the Western Conference. After his retirement, Council 37 asked him to continue as its political and legislative representative on a contract basis. Currently, he's involved in the general election campaign and is looking forward to the 2001 session of the Legislature.

DURING HIS CAREER, four international presidents of the Teamsters - Dan Tobin, Dave Beck, James R. Hoffa and Jackie Presser - appointed him to various assignments at IBT conventions. These ranged from being a sergeant-at-arms to serving on the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.

Malloy also was given the responsibility of delivering a $10,000 check from the IBT to help finance the 1960 start-up of the Portland Reporter, the tabloid newspaper published by the workers on strike against the Oregonian and Oregon Journal.

The new Hall of Famer's civic endeavors included serving as a trustee of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and participating in the labor movement's vital role in erecting the first OMSI adjacent to the Zoo above Southwest Canyon Road. Malloy held a board seat at the Housing Authority of Portland for three terms of office, appointed twice by Mayor Terry Schrunk and once by Mayor Neil Goldschmidt. Malloy and management attorney Bill Lubersky co-chaired election campaigns of Connie McCready, another mayor. In U.S. Senator Wayne Morse's 1968 close loss to Republican Robert Packwood, Malloy served on Democrat Morse's recount committee and was assigned as an observer at the Lincoln County vote recount in Newport.

AFTER HIS COAST GUARD service, Malloy took up flying, using his GI Bill benefits to learn to be a pilot. He was 40 hours short of qualifying for a commercial pilot's license in 1950 when a crankshaft broke on the Cessna 140 he was flying and the plane crashed in Clackamas County. Malloy and a passenger walked away from the accident. Years later, in the mid-1980s, Malloy was given a flight in an Oregon Air National Guard F101 Voodoo jet fighter, thanks to a courtesy extended by General Richard Miller, the state adjutant general. Malloy's interest in flight prompted Congressman Wendell Wyatt to arrange for him to watch the blast-off of the Apollo 14 spacecraft at Cape Canaveral, Fla., in the early 1970s.

Golf is one of Malloy's sports interests. A highlight he recalls with pride was a hole-in-one on the course at Welches in a Rosy's Clambake tourney sponsored by J.D. (Rosy) McDonald, then the presiding officer at Oregon AFL-CIO conventions. McDonald had Governor Tom McCall give Malloy a trophy at the next state convention.

MALLOY AND HIS WIFE of 40 years, the former Eleanor "Frankie" Collison, live in southwest Portland. Their two sons, Mickey and Steven, worked for a time as members of Teamsters Local 81; the Malloys have two daughters, Shelli and Tricia; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


HARDY MYERS, Oregon's attorney general, is scrutinizing the legality of political activities by an educational foundation run by right-wing millionaire medical manufacturer Loren E. Parks of Aloha. One-time hypnotist Parks has spent nearly three million bucks in signature-gathering and advertising of anti-government, anti-tax and anti-union initiative petitions in cahoots with William Lee Sizemore, Frank Eisenzimmer, Mark Hemstreet and others. Myers might also want to examine the political activities of the educational foundation of the Eisenzimmer-Sizemore Oregon Taxpayers United.


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