“It’s been an honor, a blessing, a journey to be involved with, and to lead, Local 110,” said Don Willey, retiring business manager of Laborers Local 110 at a “goodbye and thank you” reception held in his honor June 24 at the union hall.
Union members, officers, political leaders and friends gathered to wish Willey a happy, safe and eventful retirement.
Local 110’s new business manager, Ronny Griffin, currently serving as president, wished Willey well and expressed the union’s appreciation for his incredible 38 years of service to Local 110’s membership.
“An extraordinary career is not made overnight; it is the sum of many days of an ordinary career that add up to something extraordinary,” Griffin told Willey. “We wish you the best as you go and enjoy your endeavors, knowing we can reach out to you if we need to. I hope you’re proud of your career. We wish you the best in your retirement.”
For his part, Willey thanked his membership and his fellow officers for their support, noting that there is no better group of officers to be leading their union and no one better than to lead it that Griffin, the first African American leader of a St. Louis construction union. “You just need to continue to fight like hell for our members.”
He also extended appreciation to the contractors, whom he considers as “partners,” noting that while there are different sides to any story, contractors were willing, together with the union, to benefit everyone: workers, employees and customers.
“There’s no better business to retire from than the union business,” Willey concluded to a rousing round of applause.