The 32nd annual East Central Iowa Northwestern Illinois AFL-CIO Hall of Fame Banquet, hosted by the Quad City Federation of Labor, was held Oct. 7 at the Isle Casino Hotel, 1888 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf, a news release says.
AFL-CIO Hall of Fame awards were presented to seven labor leaders:
2023 AFL-CIO HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Joan Eastlund – IFT Local 1836: She began her career at Black Hawk College in the fall of 1979 working with hundreds of dislocated workers who lost their jobs in the major restructuring of the farm implement industry. She saw firsthand the importance of a union and joined the Black Hawk College chapter of the Illinois Federation of Teachers local 1836 as soon as she could. In 1992 she moved into the political science/history department and spent the next 25 years teaching students the fundamental principles of our democracy. She was the faculty advisor for their congressional internship and for their Model Illinois Government program where their students could spend four days in Springfield simulating the state legislative process. During this time their union grew and flourished with a full and active membership. From 2002 to her retirement in 2016 she served as their union president. She has been married to her husband, Bob, for 56 years. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Eastlund enjoys walking and bicycling, especially along the Mississippi River bike paths.
Mike Malmstrom – UAW Local 865: He joined the U. S. Marine Corps in 1972 and after that he became a member of the Marine Corps Reserves. He was hired into McLaughlin Body in 1973, joining UAW Local 1414 as an assembler, spot welder and forklift operator. In 1974 Malmstrom lefft McLaughlin for John Deere Harvester Works and UAW Local 865 as a spot welder then as a welder. After a year and a half, he ran for and was elected shop steward, a position he held for six years. He was also elected to the UAW Local 865 Executive Board during this time as well. During his active employment, Malmstrom was instrumental in starting the first annual East Moline Labor Day Parade in 1983 and was the parade chairman for four years. In 1985, he was laid off and put on a leave of absence for six and a half years. He worked alongside Congressman Lane Evans as his scheduler and driver for state functions. Malmstrom joined and became commander for AMVETS #145 for 21 years. In 1990, he joined the Marine Corps League, to which he became its Department Officer in 1993. Over the last 30 years, he has held various other positions. In 1993, he returned to John Deere Harvester Works where he put in another 10 1/2 years, retiring in 2004. Malmstrom is a member of the UAW Local 865 retirees’ council and a member in good standing with the UAW. Since 2010, Mike has been involved with the ARA (Alliance for Retired Americans) serving as its vice president for the first four years and in 2015 becoming president. He had been on the ARA State Board for six years. Over the past couple of years, he has served as the financial officer for the American Legion Post #582 out of Erie, Illinois. For the last 15 years, he has served as precinct committeeman for South Moline 19. He has been the president of Bridging the Gap for Homeless Veterans since 2001, hosting the STAND DOWN event every year. Mike has been married to his wife, Sheila, for 48 years. They have five children and eight grandchildren.
Orris “PeeWee” Avila – Ironworkers Local 111: Avila started with the Ironworkers Local 111 as a pre-apprentice in 1976 and sworn in in March 1977. He performed 42 years of service before he retired in 2012. The first position he ever held in the union was on the Supplement Health Board in the 1980s. He served two terms on the Executive Board in the 1990s and was an invited guest for two more terms. He was the business agent from 2005 to 2015. He was involved in, and a part of, several pickets and strike committees. He was an officer on the Supplement Monthly Annuity Board. He has worked with the apprentices from door knocking and canvassing for local politicians to volunteering for tasks needed at other organizations as well. Because of these efforts, the iron workers were awarded The Governor’s Award. Besides the many tasks and volunteer opportunities through Avila’s employment, he has also served as lead usher at his church for several years, and, served on the Board for Community Action of Eastern Iowa, where he was appointed vice president after several years. He is still an active member of the Northwest Turners, the Elks Club, and Big River Conservation. Since his retirement, he has enjoyed spending time with Teresa, his wife of more than 30 years. They love spending time golfing, fishing, and hunting. They also enjoy spending time with their grown children and watching their grandchildren in their individual sports.
Jerry Egan – SMART Local 91: Egan started his career as a Local 91 sheet metal worker in 1978. He served his apprenticeship program at Johnson Contracting Company (JCC) in East Moline, turning out as a journeyman in 1982. He retired in 2022 after 44 years of service. He was a regular at all Union meetings and served as an executive board member for nine years and business representative/recording secretary for nine years as well from 2013 to 2022. He and his wife, Lisa, have three children: Ryan, Lyndsey, and Aly. He has four granddaughters Kylee, Jera, Tayva, and Kora. His hobbies are American-made cars and racing. He still has his 1969 228 Camaro, which is his first car.
Marvell Porter – UAW Local 865: Porter was born in August 1928. He is married to Clella Porter and father to four daughters. Porter was hired into John Deere Harvester Works and started his UAW membership on Nov. 4, 1946. He was elected UAW Local 865 Union Steward, Equal Opportunity Program in August 1978, and was civil human rights chairperson. He retired from John Deere Harvester Works on July 1, 1981, then went on to become the vice chairman of the Civil Human Rights Retirees Committee for Region 4 and chairman of the UAW Local 865 Retirees Chapter in 2005. He has always been a member in good standing with UAW Quad City Area CAP Council and has been the de facto leader of its election phone bank since it first began. He began his community organizing in his church, the Zion Lutheran Church in East Moline. As a deacon, he motivated his parishioners and family members to get involved politically in their township. He and his daughters, in-laws, and fellow church members are on the Hampton Township Board. They help with the phone bank, knock on doors and campaign every election cycle.
Doug House – IUOE Local 150: House was in the Illinois Air Force National Guard (1980-1984), Iowa Army Engineers (1984 -1986) achieving the rank of Sergeant. He was at John Deere, Mt. Joy (four years), Blackhawk Township Road Commissioner (four years), heavy equipment operator (four years), laborer, Moline Public Works (eight years), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting (three years), Illinois Department of Transportation as Deputy Secretary (three years). He was also a member of UAW Local 281 (four years), International Union of Operating Engineers Local 537 and 150 currently and a 35-year member of Laborers Local 309. He served as precinct committeeman for 42 years, chairman of Rock Island County Democratic Party for seven years and president of the Illinois Democratic County Chair Association (102 counties) three years, and president of the American Public Works Association (APWA) for the state of Illinois for two years. He picketed as a probationary employee in a right-to-work state at John Deere Mt. Joy and always walked pickets in support of working people and also was a political activist. He was instrumental in passing two amendments to the Illinois Constitution: The Safe Roads Amendment that ensures taxpayer dollars for building and repairing roads could not be raided and most recently the Workers’ Rights Amendment that gives Illinois workers a Constitutional protection from anti-worker laws that could be passed by the General Assembly. House has made several attempts to retire but has been recruited to come back to work. He currently is working with Congressman Eric Sorensen. House has always valued his family and tried to strike a balance between work, political activism, and family. He has many interests including hot rods, collecting John F. Kennedy and other political memorabilia, hunting, and fishing. He has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Milan since he was a child and is the son of Ed (deceased) and Tjodie (Jody) House. He is married to Kim and has three children, Thomas, Hannah, and Spencer. He is the grandfather of Thomas Jr. (TJ) and Asa.
2023 JOHN WHITE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Miles Davidson – UAW Local 281: Davidson earned his AWS Certified 6G Welder through the Tulsa Welding School in Tulsa, OK in 2009. He then moved to the Quad Cities and began his career at John Deere Davenport Works in 2011 as a welder, D105, articulated dump trucks, then moved into trainer, Safety Culture and Engagement Team in 2014. He became a loaned executive with United Way Quad Cities in 2016. He was in benefits training for striking members and was a weld instructor for new hires, current employees, and high school registered apprentice program participants. Currently, he is serving as the new hire training and onboarding lead coordinator with JD Davenport Works. He began his volunteer time with United Way Quad Cities in 2018 as a loaned executive. In 2019, he volunteered to become a panel volunteer, and still helps to decide how money raised is allocated to nonprofit organizations affiliated with United Way. He has been a part of the annual Day of Caring since 2012 and more recently became involved with other United Way donor networks as well. In addition to his volunteer work with United Way, Davidson is involved with the UAW local 281 Community Services Committee, JD Davenport Works Outreach Committee, and continues to volunteer for Kings Harvest, ARC of the Quad Cities, and Celebrate Recovery. One of the most insightful work experiences Miles shares is learning that negotiating is not about winning and understanding that his voice does have an impact. He has been married 21 years to his wife, Amanda. they have two children, Abigail and Maxwell. The family has two dogs and one cat. Davidson is a gardening enthusiast and an avid reader. He enjoys golfing.