By CARL GREEN
Glen Carbon, IL – Local Labor unions have been working hard to help their members get through this difficult time, and one of the very active ones is Laborers Local 773, which distributed boxes of fresh produce and dairy products to members here Wednesday, June 24.
Members drove through the First Student school bus lot on Commercial Court off of Center Grove Road in their cars while staff and volunteers loaded them up with the food boxes, packed by Cusumano & Sons, Mount Vernon, using grants and donations to the union.
The local represents about 125 bus driver members in the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon school district and about 200 members total in Madison County, including eight at Richards Brick in Edwardsville.
Local 773 field rep Charlie Ferguson brought a truck loaded with 200 boxes of fresh produce and 250 boxes of dairy products. Ferguson was then moving on to the Roxana School District, where they represent about a dozen drivers and about 20 custodians and maintenance workers. Anything left was going to the needy.
“We want to take care of the members and the community,” Ferguson said, noting that the boxes of produce and dairy going to each member are worth about $50.
“It’s a good value,” he said. “It’s a good way to give back to the members.”
Based in Marion, Local 773 represents construction workers in the lower 13 counties of Illinois, railroad workers in 41 states, and groups of workers in government, health care, universities, food service, printing and more. It is the 12th largest local in the international union and operates in both Illinois and Missouri.
COMMITMENT TO MEMBERS, COMMUNITY
Local 773 Business Manager Jerry Womick said the project and others like it stem from the union’s commitment to its members and the community.
“Our strength comes from the willingness to stand together as a united front,” he said. “It is this commitment to each other that has allowed us to prosper through good times and preserve through bad.
“Though the pandemic has attacked our communities in many ways, our members and our local union have faced it head on. Our school cooks have continued to work so that children are fed. Our nurses, hospital employee and health care members have cared for the sick and helpless despite the danger to themselves. Our heavy highway members are still working to safeguard our highway systems that support our commerce and travel. Our municipal and state employees, those in factories and at work across our region, have kept the wheels of our society turning.
“Today we are fortunate to be able to once again stand with our community through this event. We are thankful for the help of Cusumano & Sons and the U.S. government for providing the produce. May your family enjoy good health as they enjoy these fruits and vegetables.”