Missouri Labor Movement mourns loss of working family warrior, UNITE HERE’s Tim Luebbert


Tim Luebbert, former international vice president of UNITE HERE and president of UNITE HERE Local 74 St. Louis, died March 15, 2019.

Brother Luebbert joined UNITE HERE Local 74 in the mid-1980s, became president of the St. Louis local in 1992 and went on to work for the international union, serving as international vice president from 1996 to 2018.

Local 74 President Kevin McNatt said Luebbert worked tirelessly to bring the local to the forefront.

Internationally, UNITE HERE represents 270,000 working people in the United States and Canada in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation and airport industries. Local 74 represents workers in the Greater St. Louis area, Kansas City and Illinois.

“He was like a brother to me,” McNatt said. “He was ambitious, he did not back down from anyone or anything. He was always there for you, would give anyone the shirt off his back — he cared about people.”

Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis said Luebbert was one of his very best friends and both started out in the Labor Movement as “kids” in the early 1980s, adding that he, Luebbert, Dave Cook (now president of UFCW Local 655) Nick Trupiano (St. Peters newest alderman and retired Local 655 director of organizing) and Steve Gragalli (Department of Finance/City of St. Louis and former assistant business manager at Operating Engineers Local 2) would hang out every chance they could.

“Because of Tim’s upbringing, his beliefs and his love for the Labor Movement, he moved quickly through the ranks of UNITE HERE,” Louis said.

“His dedication was not only to his sisters and brothers of Local 74 to work hard to improve their lives, he was a warrior for all working families,” Louis said. “The only thing that Tim loved more than the Labor Movement were his two sons’ Dylan and Blake, and the St Louis Cardinals.

“On a personal level,” Louis added, “I have lost a great friend who would give you the shirt off of his back. But in the big picture of life, working families in the State of Missouri have lost a great friend and leader, whether they had ever met him or not.”

Pat White, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, said, “We have lost a very special friend and a dedicated Labor leader. As he was to many, Tim was one of my very best and dearest friends.”

Funeral Services for Brother Luebbert were held on April 16, 2019, at St. Norbert Catholic Church, 16475 New Halls Ferry Rd., Florissant, MO; 10 a.m. – Visitation, 11 a.m – Mass.


  1. I am so saddened to hear about Tim Leubbert. I am a member of Local 74, HERE in St. Louis. In 2000, Tim and Kevin McNatt went to bat for me and a few others in an arbitration, which we won. Tim asked me to be a shop steward then, so in a way am carrying on a small piece of the torch that he held high helping all of our members. Rest in Peace Tim, thank you for all you did for labor!


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