East Alton, IL – The Union Label and Service Trades Council in Madison County is in dire need of some new delegates to help in its work of promoting union products and services.
Jerry Vonderheit, chairman of the Council since 2000, is asking interested union members to stop by an upcoming meeting with their union credentials.
The meetings are held at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month at the Machinists’ hall, 161 N. Shamrock in East Alton.
“If Union Label doesn’t start getting new delegates, we’re going under. That’s all I can tell you,” Vonderheit said at the January meeting of the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor.
The group in the past has used raffles to raise funds for its projects, but currently doesn’t have the money to buy raffle prizes, he said.
It’s supposed to have at least three unions represented to take action, but lately it’s been getting only three members at meetings – and two of them are Machinists, Everett Loy and Bob Masiero.
Nationally, the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department works to promote products and services produced in the U.S. by union members. It uses union labels, shop cards, store cards and service buttons.
“We work to promote the union label,” states the department’s website. “When you see a union label — whether it is on a product, on a union shop or union store placard in a place of business, or on a union button worn by a worker – it signifies quality goods and services.
“Moreover, these emblems demonstrate that the employees who make the product or provide the service are skilled workers who are treated fairly and decently by their employers.
“Union labels are symbols of quality and fair play and are found everywhere, from washing machines to baked goods, from shoes to skyscrapers, from clothing to barber shops. They are evidence of quality goods and services produced by proud American workers.”
The Department helps unions conduct national boycotts and maintains and publishes “Do Not Buy” lists. It publishes the Label Letter every month to keep local unions informed on Union label activists.