From Portland Afoot
Ron Heintzman is a former president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, the Portland-based union that represents workers for TriMet and dozens of smaller transit agencies and other government offices around the Pacific Northwest. He served as president of the local union from 1988 to 2002, negotiating a series of worker-friendly contracts and expanding the union's membership across the Northwest.
After serving in various positions with Local 757's parent organization, the ATU international, from 2002 to 2010, Heintzman ran unsuccessfully for his old job in Portland. In June 2012 he lost, 43 percent to 53 percent, to TriMet operator Bruce Hansen.
As of October 2012, Heintzman and allies were challenging the results of that election.
A former military policeman -- the Vietnam-era ROTC officer was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant after graduating from Washington State University in 1975 -- Heintzman served as an Oregon Liquor Control Commission peace officer from 1977 to 1982, when he completed a master's degree in criminal justice from Portland State University and moved to TriMet to serve with the transit police. In 1988, he ran successfully for union presidency on a platform to increase the size of the dedicated transit police. (In 2012, Heintzman recalled that the system only employed 15 officers of its own.)
Heintzman was reelected in 1991, 1994, and 1997, during which time he negotiated a series of contracts frequently described as some of the most worker-friendly in the country and organized units at agencies from Walla Walla to Medford, making Local 757 of the most geographically far-flung ATU locals in the country.
In 2000, challenger Wally Feist defeated Heintzman and served for several months before Heintzman's allies successfully challenged the election on the grounds that it had disenfranchised some newly hired members of the union. A second vote reinstalled Heintzman.
In 2002, Heintzman was hired as international vice president, working for the ATU's Washington, DC-based international leadership to assist contract negotiations around the western United States. In 2009, he won election as executive vice president of the international. International President Warren George stepped down in July 2010, and Heintzman briefly served as international president until losing a September 2010 election to Larry Hanley.
 See also
- Interview with Ron Heintzman by Portland Afoot, during the 2012 election
- blog post by Portland Afoot with excerpts from the interview
- blog post reporting on the results of the 2012 union election
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