By ED FINKELSTEIN
Veteran trade unionist John Ebeling, vice president of CWA Local 6300 Print & Media Sector and a member of the Greater St. Louis Council’s executive board, has received a unique honor from his International Union: a 65-year continuous service award.
At the recent Printing Publishing and Media Workers Sector 28th Annual Conference, Ebeling received his 65-year continuous service award from Sector President Dan Wasser.
Beginning his career in 1952 as an apprentice at Mendle Printing Company, Ebeling has seen the evolution of both the printing industry and the union he so proudly serves.
After leaving Mendle, Ebeling continued his apprenticeship and then worked at the Wellston Journal, the Stockyard Reporter and the Daily Record. His apprenticeship was interrupted by four years of active duty in the Naval Air Reserve.
“Because of my time as a Yeoman in the Navy, I was familiar with using a typewriter, so when I went to work at the Daily Record, and they were using that technology, I was able to pick it up fairly quickly,” Ebeling said.
DISTINGUISHED UNION CAREER
Ebeling has had a long career serving his fellow workers: 13 years serving as the Daily Record chapel chairperson, executive committee for the St. Louis Typographical No. 8 Board of Trustees and the local’s organizing and bargaining committees. In 1975, he was elected Local 8’s president.
In 1987, the International Typographical Union (ITU) merged with the Communications Workers of America and formed the Printing, Publishing and Media Workers Sector. Ebeling became vice president of Print & Media Sector for the newly merged CWA Local 6300, a position he still holds today.
In his 65-year career, Ebeling has seen the industry change dramatically.
“It was hot metal, then linotype and now computers, and it continues to change,” he said. “If I could give one piece of advice to those working in the industry today, I’d tell them to learn everything you can learn. The trade changes, technology changes. It is still a great trade, but you will always have to upgrade your skills.”
Ebeling said two of his proudest moments came in 1991, when he presented his father with his 70-year service pin, and in 1992, when his father presented him with his 40-year service pin.
“My parents were both members of the ITU. They met in church, but I think their paths crossed at apprentice school too,” said Ebeling. “My mother took an early withdraw to stay at home and care for our family. But my father was a proud member for 70 years.”
The Labor Tribune extends its congratulations to Brother Ebeling, a great trade unionist.