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About Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current | View Entire Issue (June 16, 2006)
Let me say this about that
—By Gene Klare
Val Jack enters Hall
VAL JACK, a retired member of the Portland Federation of Teachers and
Classified Employees AFT Local 111, is the latest honoree welcomed into the
Labor Hall of Fame by the sponsoring Northwest Oregon Labor Retirees
The Retirees Council is affiliated with the Northwest Oregon Labor Coun-
cil, AFL-CIO, and holds its meetings in the NOLC boardroom in Suite 100-
G on the first floor of the Scandia
Building at 1125 SE Madison St. in
MRS. JACK, now 63, retired af-
ter a long career as an office secretary
in the Portland School District. She
spent 20 years at Roosevelt High
School starting in 1971; followed by
three years in the Roosevelt Cluster
Office located at Kenton Elementary
and three years in the Lincoln-Roo-
sevelt Region Office at Terwilliger
School. Then she served six years as
the full-time president of Local 111.
Local 111 is affiliated with the Amer-
ican Federation of Teachers-Oregon,
and the national AFT. She has been a
member of the AFT-Oregon Execu-
tive Board since 1990. She has served
as a vice president-at-large, as the
AFT-Oregon E-Board secretary, and
currently is on the board as the representative of the organization’s retirees.
After retiring, she organized the AFT-Oregon Retirees Association and is
its president. She is a member of the Oregon Chapter of the Alliance for Re-
tired Americans and holds the office of secretary on the Oregon ARA’s Ex-
ecutive Board. She produces an every-other-month newsletter for ARA. The
ARA represents seniors nationwide under the auspices of the American Fed-
eration of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations — the AFL-CIO.
IN HER WORKING YEARS, Val Jack held vice presidencies in Local
111. She was the communications vice president and later the COPE vice
president. In the Committee On Political Education post, she raised funds for
the union’s contributions to endorsed political candidates and to labor cam-
paigns against anti-union ballot measures.
Mrs. Jack has represented Local 111 as a delegate to meetings of the
Northwest Oregon Labor Council and to conventions of the Oregon AFL-
CIO. She served as recording secretary at state conventions in the 1990s.
She’s also attended conventions of AFT-Oregon and national conferences
and conventions of AFT. She raised COPE contributions at the past three
AFT-Oregon conventions by organizing a silent auction and contributing one
of her quilts or crochet projects. At national assemblies, she has been active
on a number of committees, which included planning a conference for local
union presidents; and drafting a report on organizing part-time and contingent
workers. She co-taught a class on how to gear-up local union political action
in election campaigns, explaining what Oregon unions did to beat back anti-
worker ballot measures.
Jack was appointed by First District Congressman David Wu as an alter-
nate delegate to last year’s White House Conference on Aging.
HALL OF FAME member Jack recalled in a NW Labor Press interview
that she attended every day of the three-week civil trial in 2002 in which a
Multnomah County Circuit Court jury ruled for AFT-Oregon and the Oregon
Education Association in the two unions’ landmark lawsuit against anti-union
(Turn to Page 11)
Transit Local 757 elects officers;
Jon Hunt will be new president
Members of Portland-based Amal-
gamated Transit Union Local 757 have
chosen new leaders.
In mail-in ballots counted June 6,
Jon Hunt was declared the new presi-
dent and Sam Schwarz the new vice
Tom Wallace returned to a second
term as financial secretary-treasurer.
The three offices are full-time staff
positions. Also elected were the union’s
Executive Board and unit liaison offi-
Local 757 has 4,100 members —
mostly bus operators and mechanics —
at 35 locations. TriMet, the Portland-
area transit system, is the union’s largest
and oldest unit.
This year, 20 of the union’s 49
elected positions were contested, and
campaigning was intense for the top
leadership spots. That likely increased
turnout, which at more than 56 percent
is considered high for union elections.
Hunt, currently the union’s vice
president, outpolled Art Winslow, Tom
Bernards and James Perez to win a
three-year term as president.
The current president, Al Zullo, will
retire after his term expires June 30.
Schwarz, currently on the Executive
Board, also bested three other candi-
dates. Wallace won against two chal-
At 35, Hunt is one of the youngest
members ever elected to the local’s
His father, Bill Hunt, is a retired Tri-
Met bus driver and former Local 757
Executive Board officer. His brother
Jeff also works at TriMet as a journey-
man diesel mechanic and is a shop
“I grew up talking about the union at
the kitchen table,” Hunt said. “As a kid,
I helped out at the union picnics.”
Hunt grew up in Vancouver, Wash-
ington, and graduated from Hudson’s
Bay High School. He served four years
in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning the
rank of corporal, and then returned
home to work at Burlington Northern
Railroad as a crane operator and truck
driver in maintenance. In 1995, he took
a pay cut to work at TriMet, where he
began as a bus driver working a split
shift in the morning and evening rush
hours while attending Portland Com-
munity College. Later he became a
maintenance helper, washing and fuel-
ing buses at TriMet’s Merlo Garage. He
entered a diesel apprenticeship pro-
gram, and graduated after three years.
Along the way he was elected shop
steward and Executive Board member,
and vice president in 2003.
He lives in Beaverton with his wife
and four children.
Hunt, along with other officers and
staff, will be responsible for enforcing
22 union contracts, and renegotiating
those that expire in the next three years.
[The TriMet contract won’t come up for
renegotiation until December 2009.]
Hunt is also expected to be appointed to
a seat on the Oregon AFL-CIO Execu-
tive Board, which Zullo now occupies.
Hunt said he hopes to unionize non-
union bus companies, and win better
contacts for members by applying bar-
gaining tactics learned in classes of the
University of Oregon’s Labor Educa-
tion and Research Center.
Newly-elected officers will be sworn
in July 3.
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NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS
JUNE 16, 2006