Not supporting union is ‘stomping on your roots,’ 65-year laborer, 83, says to younger members

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50 YEARS AS A LABORER: Receiving their 50-year membership pins and accompanying certificates for their 50 years in Laborers Local 110 are (seated from left): Floyd Corless, Ben Gold, Glen Griffin, Alvin Harmon, Leroy Russo, and Norbert Meyer. Honoring the men (back row, from left) are Club Vice President Rick Boston, 65-year member Bob Wilmoth, President Denny Fuchs, Local 110 Business Manager Don Willey and Recorder Don Boyster. – Labor Tribune photo

Laborers 110 honors 100 veteran members with service pins

In a spirit of celebration and honor, Laborers Local 110 honored 100 of its veteran retired members at a recent meeting of the union’s Retirees Club, including a 65-year member, a 60-year member, four 55-year members, and sixteen 50-year members.

And if you met 65-year member Bob Wilmoth, you would never believe he’s 83. Joining the laborers at 17, and working most of his career as a plasterer tenderer, his first wage was 75 cents an hour. At his first job, he recalls, because of his age, “They had to hide me way back in the subdivision where I was setting concrete forms.”

As part of his initiation into the union back then, they told him he would have to ride a “bucking billy goat. I was scared to death.” When he showed up at his first union meeting for his “initiation,” he found everyone laughing. No billy goat; the joke was on him, he remembers fondly. But then he had to drink a bucket of beer, which turned out to be all foam.


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THUMBS UP FOR 65 YEARS as a working Laborer 110 member honoring Bob Wilmoth (third from left) are (from left) Laborers 110 President Gary Elliott, Retiree Club Vice President Rick Boston, (Wilmoth), Club President Denny Fuchs, Local 110 Business Manager Don Willey and club Recorder Don Boyster. – Labor Tribune photo

How important is the union to him? “The union made it possible for me to support my family (wife and three daughters), allowed a guy to plan for the future and to enjoy it when you get there. Without the union’s support, I never could have been as happy as I am today.”

His advice for young workers today who don’t understand the union like they should: “You’re stomping on the very roots that got you here today, the wages and the benefits. Their parents and grandparents were hard-working people. Not fighting for the union is stomping on their memory, stomping on the very roots that got them where they are today.”

He added somberly: “Without the union behind you, life will go on, but you wind up being a big loser in the long run. With the union, you have a voice to negotiate and someone to back you up. Try doing that on your own!”

Brother Wilmoth lives in Jefferson County and is the proud grandpa of five and a great-grandpa of two. He’s been widowed for 58 years.


“We’re proud of what you all represent, the heart and soul of our union,” said Local 110 Business Manager Don Willey as he and President Gary Elliott (who also serves as business manager for the Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council) presented the membership pins.

“Your service has been the backbone of our union, and we’re proud of you,” Elliott added.


Those honored were:

20-Year Pins

Jimmie Baldwin, Kenneth Bombach, Michael Bowen, Kevin Burris, Chip Cuquet, Richard Dietz, Ernie Doorack, Larry Friend, Carl Gray, Jimmie Grice, Clarence Hahn, Gary Henson, Kevin Lewis, Tim McLaughlin, Carl Midgett, John Moore, Joseph Naeger, Anthony Page, Paul Sibley and Lonnie Waller.

25-Year Pins

Gary Anglim, Wilton Eidson, Frank Galati, Mitchell Ham, Gary Owen, Paul Thebeau and Douglas Tiberghien.

30-Year Pins

Michael Benigno, Gerald Duncan, Charles Elrod, Theodore Freund, Billy Gray, John D. Hampton, Larry Hayes, Shirley Hayes, Robert Loehr, Tom Mohr, Conrad Oxmann, Robert Polanc, George Reid III, Tim Rudar, Danny Talley, Steve Tepen and Lewis Worden.

35-Year Pins

Stacy Abel, Dennis Bridges, Monte Cates, Tim Doyle, Gordon Haarmann, Kenneth Hyde, Joseph Lee, Peter Licavoli, Daniel Luther, Tim Nolan, Daniel Schlechte, Richard Schumacher, Perry Thomure, Jerry Walker, Stephen Werner and Jerry Wideman.

40-Year Pins

Dale Daniel, Gary Mason, Ernest Messex, Allen Mitchell, Raymond Niehaus, Dennis Otte and Dennis Taylor.

45-Year Pins

Ivan Barac, Willie Barbee, James Freeland, John Harness Jr., Gary Lebcowitz, Thomas Locke, George Owens, Curtis Ray, Ulysses Sykes, James Woods and Daniel Yust.

50-Year Pins

William Bausch, Paul Coleman, John Corcoran, Floyd Corless, Carl Dean, James Gamma, Ben Gold, Glen Griffin, Alvin Harmon, Kenneth Johnson Jr., James Johnson, Thomas Kovach Sr., Norman Lipp, Robert McGraw, Norber Meyer and Leroy Russo.

55-Year Pins

Junior Brown, Linnie Masson, Lenzie Moore and Donald Nezzer.

60-year Pin

Desoto Wilkes.

65-Year Pin

Robert Wilmoth.


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