By TIM ROWDEN
John Ebeling, the soft-spoken but tenacious vice president of CWA Local 6300’s Print & Media Sector – who makes sure union handouts and Labor-endorsed candidates’ political fliers are marked with a union printer’s bug – is retiring as 1st vice president of the St. Louis Labor Council Executive Board after 44 years of service.
Ebeling served as Grand Marshall of St. Louis Labor Day Parade Sept. 2 in downtown St. Louis.
Council veteran Earline Jones (CWA 6300) is succeeding Ebeling as 1st vice president.
66 YEARS A UNION MEMBER
A union member for 66 years, Ebeling began his apprenticeship with Typographical Union Local 8 in 1952 at Mendle Printing Company and has seen the evolution of the printing industry and the union he so proudly serves.
After leaving Mendle, Ebeling continued his apprenticeship and 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.
Ebeling spent 13 years as the Daily Record chapel chairperson, and served on the executive committee of Local 8’s Board of Trustees and the local’s organizing and bargaining committees. In 1975, he was elected Local 8’s president.
In 1987, when 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 that sector.
‘AN HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE’
Ebeling joined the Labor Council Executive Board with the legendary Bob Kelly (UFCW Local 655) in 1976. Kelly, who passed away last year, went on to become Council president. Ebeling became the Council’s 1st vice president and later served with now retired Council President Bob Soutier (Machinists District 9) and current Council President Pat White (Gas Workers 11-6).
“I’ve always considered it an honor and a privilege to be on this board, serving with all of you great brothers and sisters of the Labor Movement,” Ebeling said.
“I had the pleasure of serving with Bob Kelly during his entire tenure of office, Bob Soutier and now, Pat White. And I can tell you, Pat White is definitely the man for the century that is ahead of us and for the times we are facing. He’s a wonderful kind of guy, and with his leadership I’m sure you can’t go wrong.”
RECOGNIZED FOR HIS SERVICE
Ebeling announced his retirement at the Aug. 19 Labor Council Executive Board meeting and was nominated by Labor Council President Pat White to serve as Grand Marshall at this year’s St. Louis Labor Day Parade. The motion was approved by acclamation and confirmed at Aug. 20 Labor Council Delegates meeting, where Ebeling received a standing ovation and an award trophy recognizing his many years of service.
The award reads: Thank you for your 44 years of service to the St. Louis Labor Council. Your leadership will be missed.
“It’s not just words,” Labor Council President Pat White said in presenting the award. “I’ve leaned on John more than you know just to figure out how to get through things. I can tell you, if you show up to our meeting with something to pass out to the Labor Council, if you don’t have a union bug on that paper, this pit bull is going to get you; if you don’t have a bug on that paper, you’re going to have to deal with the wrath of John Ebeling.”