Painters’ Joe Mueller takes the helm
By MARY ANN O’TOOLE HOLLEY
After 18 years as an officer helping to grow the Tri-County Labor Club into one of the most respected clubs in the area, Steve Bailey has decided to step back as president to make room for new leadership.
Bailey doesn’t like to attribute the club’s success to his work. He says the club is strong because of the members and all of the Labor Club leaders that came before him.
“I just stood on their shoulders, so to speak,” Bailey said. “The club would be nothing if it were not for the dedication and support of our membership.”
Bailey was a board member when the club was formed in 1989. He was there at the first meeting when former North County Labor Club leaders Dick Kellett and Dick Sullivan came to St. Charles to set it up.
Bailey continued in various roles before becoming financial secretary, then moving to the position of president in 2012, filling the vacancy left due to the death of the club’s beloved leader, Greg Booth of IBEW Local 1. Booth became president in 2001, along with a new executive board.
“Greg did all the hard work,” Bailey said. “He got the idea of buying the building and fixing it up for meetings and events. He was great at getting people involved.”
PASSING GAVEL TO YOUNGER GENERATION
As club president, Bailey pulled members together to fight anti-union actions and collect donations for charitable and political activities, and often walked door-to-door hand-billing with his cohorts for worker-friendly political candidates.
Barbecues, golf tournaments, political gatherings and membership meetings every first Tuesday of the month all seemed to run flawlessly under Bailey’s leadership, members said.
“It’s time for the younger guys to take over,” Bailey said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and it’s good for the younger guys to get more involved with their union and stay involved. This isn’t going to be an easy year, with several anti-worker bills already filed in Jeff City. We all have to realize as union members, we are all in this together.”
He added, “Overall, it’s been a lot of work, but I’m proud of the club members. They are always ready to step up when help is needed. I’ll still be involved, sitting back in the corner at every meeting with my son Chris.”
MUELLER APPOINTED NEW CLUB PRESIDENT
Joe Mueller, assistant business manager of Painters District Council 58 and business agent for Local 1156, has been appointed to succeed Bailey as club president.
Mueller has been a member of Tri-County Labor Club for some 10 years. He served as a trustee for most of those years.
“Greg Booth and Steve Bailey, I know, have extremely large shoes to fill,” Mueller said. “I hope to carry on the great work Tri-County has always done in promoting Labor causes.”
The Tri-County Labor Club usually meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Greg Booth Hall, #10 Droste Square in St. Charles, but because of COVID-19 social distancing issues, meetings have been canceled until further notice. Events such as food drives and other charitable work will continue. Watch your email for notifications.