Fun-filled Tug-O-War Family Picnic set for Sat., Sept. 28; locals urged to form their teams now

2008.Laborers 42.
HEFTY HAULERS could easily be the nickname for the winning teams of the past four Tug-O-War pulls at the fun-filled Tug-O-War Family Picnic. The picnic is back this year on Sept. 28 at Forest Park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the Tug-O-War starting at 10 a.m. Previous winners Laborers Local 42 (pictured here) dominated in 2008 and 2009 Will your local be the next champion?
Labor Tribune photo

After a two-year hiatus, the Labor Tug-O-War and Gala Family Picnic is back! And it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.

Mark your calendars right now for Saturday, Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and make plans to come to Forest Park for an afternoon of fun for everyone. The Tug will begin at 10 a.m.:

• The brute force of a Tug-O-War between union teams the likes of which few have ever seen. All unions are urged to begin forming their teams for a chance to win the travelling First Place crystal trophy now in the hands of Sprinkler Fitters Local 268.

• A chance to win $5,000 hard cold cash! Only 200 raffle tickets at $50 each will be sold during the next few months with the winner drawn at the picnic (need not be present to win). Raffle proceeds will be split between “$5 for The Fight” to help union brothers and sisters out of work and the two sponsoring clubs to help fund their year-‘round activities and programs.


• Games of all kinds for the kids, face painting of course, an egg toss, and a kids tug-of-war, to name only a few of the activities that will be available;

• Games for adults including a dunking booth where you’ll relish the chance to dunk your favorite business manager or agent;

• Lots of hot picnic food and lots of cold drinks to satisfy the toughest appetites and quench that summer thirst;

In the past four picnics (2007-2010) a total of $45,000 has been raised for three charities, the Shriners Children’s’ Hospital ($41,000), Rebuilding Together-St. Louis ($1,000) and $5 for the Fight ($3,000).


Now who can turn down that afternoon of fun, asks program planners, Rockwood Labor Club President Marty McClimens (Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562) and Tri-County Labor Club President Steve Bailey (Bricklayers Local 1). The two clubs will again jointly sponsor the event.

They urged locals to begin forming their teams now because if past performances are any indication, the Tug-O-War turns out to be a pull of mighty proportions: maximum of 1,500 pounds per team of not more than six people.

Medals will go to the top four teams…but hurry, only 32 teams will be allowed to enter.


“We hope every local will participate, from both sides of the river – machinists, fire fighters, police, auto workers, retail clerks, postal workers, building trades – everyone,” said McClimens. “In past years, some of the toughest teams came from the East Side. The challenge is on!”

This year’s competition will honor two deceased labor leaders, IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Greg Booth, former president of the Tri-County Labor Club, and Hoisting Engineers Local 513 Business Representative Dee Sprayberry, former vice president of the Rockwood Labor Club.

“Both these member worked tirelessly to promote organized labor and were driving forces to the success of our two clubs,” McClimens noted.


“If there was ever a time to show unity, this is the year given the assault on our way of life and our unions,” added Bailey. “We need to send a message to our politicians that our union members and families are a valuable asset to our community and our state’s economy.

“They need to know that we are not going to stand still while they try to destroy our ability to earn a fair living by trying to destroy our unions and our ability to negotiate fair and reasonable contracts,” Bailed stressed.

Mark your calendars: Saturday, Sept. 28 in Forest Park, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cricket Fields, across the road from where previous picnics have been held.

For more information contact either:

• Marty McClimens at 314-920-1404/email:

• Steve Bailey at 636-794-4878/email:



Can you lick these winners?

Unions: start forming Tug teams now

Get your team ready for the 2013 Tug-O-War that’s a hoot to watch…and a chance to hoot for your union team to bring home to crystal First Place travelling trophy.

But to do it will take some real muscle and heft because previous winners were:

2007 – Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562B team weighing in at 1,497 pounds.

2008 – Laborers Local 42’s mighty team weighing in at 1,499 pounds.

2009 – Laborers Local 42 repeats with their team weighing in at 1,490 pounds.

2010 – Sprinkler Fitters 268A weighing in at 1,394 pounds and Sprinkler Fitters 268B team weighing in at 1,486 pounds. In a dramatic turn of events, as the two sprinkler fitter teams squared off for the championship, in a show of union solidarity, both teams dropped their ropes and were declared joint winners.

In order to get under the 1,500 pounds total team weight limit, several teams had to disrobe down to their skivvies to shed enough to come under the limit. That provided a lot of laughs as they shed clothes, boots, belts and assorted pocket contents too numerous to mention.

The Tug-O-War will be a double elimination, maximum of six tuggers (women welcome too) with a max of 1,500 pounds per team.

Metals will be given to the top four teams, first through fourth place. The First Place crystal trophy will be presented to the winning team to display at their union hall until the next competition takes place.

With space for only 32 teams, unions are urged to start forming their teams now… working out to build that muscle, and start feeding the anchorman to provide the ballast needed to hold the line!

Who’s ready to dethrone the Mighty Sprinks?


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