Class of IBEW Local 1 apprentices, leaders join Bricklayers on the picket line
By SHERI GASSAWAY
A Bricklayers Local 1 job action against Weinhardt Party Rentals for using a non-union contractor for restoration work turned ugly last week resulting in death threats after about 50 IBEW Local 1 apprentices and leaders joined them on the picket line.
“It resulted in death threats to our agents’ families, along with numerous other threats by scab contractor Andre Tuckpointing as well as the owner of Weinhardt Party Rentals,” said Brian Jennewein, director of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Administrative District Council (ADC) of Eastern Missouri.
THREAT TAKEN TO NEW LEVEL
“I would ask that anyone doing business with Weinhardt please consider other alternatives,” he said. “We have all experienced threats and other unpleasant moments while trying to organize or when taking job actions, but this one has been taken to an all new level and will not go unnoticed.”
Weinhardt Party Rentals is located at 5901 Elizabeth Ave. on The Hill, directly across the street from the IBEW Local 1 union hall and IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center.
Dave Roth, IBEW Local 1 secretary-treasurer, caught wind of the Sept. 13 job action and immediately called the director of the training center.
“I told him he needed to send the apprentices on a field trip across the street,” he said.
Shortly afterward, a class of about 50 IBEW Local 1 apprentices and several IBEW Local 1 leaders, including Roth and IBEW Local 1 President Jim Reimheimer, joined the banner with Bricklayers Local 1 Business Representatives Johnny Walker and Mark Savage and Tilesetters Local 18 Business Representative Mike Weber.
The class of apprentices came back to the job action the following day during their lunch hour and IBEW Local 1 brought its inflatable rat, Scabby, to the banner joining the Bricklayers Local 1 Greedy Pig.
According to its website, Edward Weinhardt owns Weinhardt Party Rentals, and his daughter Dawn Weinhardt is closely involved in all aspects of the business. Brian Andre owns Andre Tuckpointing.
THREATENED WITH PHYSICAL VIOLENCE
Both Andre and Dawn Weinhardt came out and yelled at members of Bricklayers Local 1 members on Sept. 15. The day before, Andre threatened Walker, Savage and Weber with physical violence.
“The police were called three times over two days,” Walker said. “We weren’t able to get anything on tape and the police just told us to keep it professional and not respond to their threats.”
John Stiffler, secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council, sent an email out to its member unions asking them to support Bricklayers Local 1 at the picket by honking and waving.
DO NOT PATRONIZE
Walker said several unions in the area have used Weinhardt for as long as 20 years for party rental supplies. He said IBEW Local 1 stopped using the company awhile back because it used a non-union electrical contractor for work on its building, which is directly across from that union.
“We’ve asked them to call the owner of the company to tell him they aren’t doing business with them anymore,” Walker said. “I know Iron Workers Local 396 already made that call.”
Bricklayers Local 1 is urging all union members to call Weinhardt and explain why they won’t be using their services. The phone number is 314-822-9000.