By TIM ROWDEN
Mike Mahler, longtime business manager of Sprinkler Fitters Local 268 and president of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, is retiring.
Mahler announced his retirement to his membership recently, and made it official at the Building Trades Council on Aug. 7.
BUSINESS MANAGER FOR 23 YEARS
Mahler has been the business manager of Local 268 for 23 years and an officer in the union for 36 years. He was elected vice president of the Building Trades Council in 2001 and president in 2005.
“I’ve been around for a long time and seen a lot of changes,” Mahler told Council delegates on Aug. 7. “When I first came into my local as a full-time officer, we were still sending out telegrams. We went to faxes and texts and the web and Twitter and all the other stuff. Times have changed and it’s time for younger people who can run faster than I can to take the reins.”
Local 268 Vice President and Business Representative Bob Stuart is stepping up as business manager. Jason Olliges is the new financial secretary-treasurer and Joe Besmer is now business agent.
‘I KNOW THEY’LL DO A GOOD JOB’
“Those are some sharp guys,” Mahler said. “Bob has been around for a long time. Jason and Joe are two young guys that we’ve watched for a long time. And when I say watched for a long time – we’ve looked. We saw a lot of young guys come up, saw a lot of talent. A lot talent went away as they got married and started having kids and got involved in other activities. But these guys, I know they’ll do a good job, and I hope we’ll have the same relationships with everyone.
ALL ABOUT THE BUILDING TRADES
“I think we’ve had good relationships with every trade in this room,” he said. “We’ve tried. I want to thank everybody for all of the support that they’ve given. Because it’s really about these building trades.”
Mahler’s last day is Sept. 1.
John Stiffler, executive secretary-treasurer of the Building Trades Council, and former business manager of Insulators Local 1, said he probably wouldn’t have taken the Building Trades post three years ago were it not for Mahler’s guidance and assistance.
“Mike has always been there to help me,” Stiffler said. “Any time I needed anything or any advice, Mike has always been there. I want to thank him personally and for the Building Trades for his years of service. We wish him luck in his retirement.”
RETIREMENT PARTY SEPT. 25
Local 268 is having a party in his honor on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the union hall at 1544 S. Third St. in St. Louis, starting at 1 p.m. Most guests are expected to begin arriving at 3 or 3:30 p.m., when they get off work. For information, contact Besmer at 314-280-3145.