Labor and Workplace: Oral History Training Workshop

Oral History Training Workshop
June 3, 2017 – 9 AM to 12:30 PM

Presented by
OREGON LABOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
of
Pacific Northwest Labor History Association

HELP RECORD OUR LABOR HISTORY!  Interview a fellow worker, a respected leader, a community activist, a family member, so that what they have been through and managed to accomplish is not lost down the drain of time.  Make it available* – to inform and inspire, to caution and counsel future generations.  Take part in this training workshop presented by the Oregon branch of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association.

WHEN:    Saturday, June 3, 2017 – 9 AM to 12:30 PM
WHERE:  American Postal Workers Union Hall, 2360 SE Morrison St., Portland, Oregon
Workshop entrance is in the rear of the building, on Belmont St., where there is a small parking lot.
COST:      $15
Union member?  Ask your union to sponsor you.
REGISTER:  contact Jim Strassmaier, 503-236-1094,   strassj@spiritone.com or   Carolyn Matthews, 503-287-7690,  matthews.carolyn.k@comcast.net

To learn more about OLOHP, go to: https://pnlha.wordpress.com/resources/labor-oral-history

*OLOHP oral histories are archived at the Oregon Historical Society.

Oral History from the OLOHP — Mel Schoppert

The Oregon Labor Oral History Program (OLOHP), an affiliate project of the PNLHA and the Oregon Historical Society, preserves the collective history of labor unions and work life of Oregonians. The following audio excerpts illuminate a teenager’s dramatic passage from regular ordinary life, through the unbelievable extremes of war in the Pacific, to the transformation into passionate labor leadership.

Mel Schoppert: Tape 2, Side 1 October 16, 2001 : Excerpt Transcript
First Job After Returning from World War II

Mel Schoppert: Tape 2, Side 1 October 16, 2001 : Excerpt Transcript
“Raising Hell” on the Job and in the Union

From left to right: Wallace Feist, ATU 757 Secretary Treasurer, Ron Heintzman, ATU 757 President, Mel Schoppert ATU International Vice President, Rufus Fuller, ATU 757 Vice President

Mel Schoppert (17 July 1924 – 28 May 2002) worked as an officer of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 for eighteen years and served as as a business representative for eleven.

Beginning his career as a bus driver with the Portland Traction Company in 1952, Schoppert helped take wage rates from a low level to one of the highest in the country, with ample fringe benefits. Schoppert battled for and gained one of the first dental plans, job injury, “full pay” supplemental benefits, and broke the six week vacation barrier with six weeks after 30 years.

At the Oregon Legislature he lobbied for and got nineteen bills passed, calling for benefits and job security for transit employees. In 1973, he was elected to the post of Vice President of the ATU International and served as its Senior Vice President until his death in 2002.

Acknowledgements:
The Schoppert interviews, conducted by the Oregon Labor Oral History Program (OLOHP) and archived at the Oregon Historical Society, were published in excerpts for union members in the NW Labor Press. OLOHP’s work is supported by ATU 757 members through a 2-cent per capita levy instituted in 2010. This contribution funds oral histories conducted by students, including subjects representing other unions.