Also collected hundreds of signatures on petitions calling for vote on RTW
By ED FINKELSTEIN
South St. Louis County – Teamsters from across the St. Louis area joined with KMOX, Y98, KEZK and Schnucks Markets (Butler Hill) recently to collect tons of cleaning products, clothes and cash to help with flood relief and recovery, including the restocking of area food banks sponsored by the organizations.
“The outpouring was tremendous,” said Teamsters Joint Council 13 Human Rights and Special Events Coordinator Roy Gillespie. “Our guys and gals were happy to participate with KMOX in this great effort to help Missourians who really need it right now.”
Gillespie worked with KMOX Radio host Charlie Brennan to put the event together.
“We could not have done this without the Teamsters help,” Brennan told the Labor Tribune. “They were on site at 3 a.m. to set up tents, tables and barricades, and managed all the logistics and delivered the donations. They are amazing!”
The May 8 effort was the brainchild of Gillespie and Brennan, who brought along sister stations Y98 and KEZK. All three stations aggressively promoted the event on the air.
“We did a drive like this in conjunction with the Teamsters for the flood victims in Louisiana last year,” Brennan said. “So, with the recent events here, we thought ‘Hey, why not help the flood victims in our own backyard?”
Brennan heaped praise on Gillespie, calling him “a take charge force of nature,” for his organizational skills and heart. The entire effort was put together in three days.
LOTS OF HELP
More than 40 Teamster volunteers were on hand to load six tractor-trailer trucks donated by Holland Trucking, Gillespie said. “We deeply appreciate our brothers and sisters giving up a day to help.”
The day-long event gathered desperately needed cleaning supplies including mops, bleach, brooms, disinfectants and dishwasher and clothes detergents.
In addition, they asked for non-perishable food supplies to help replenish three area food banks overwhelmed by families who lost everything and need help: Circle of Concern in Valley Park, the Arnold Food Pantry and the St. Vincent DePaul Society, which has several food banks across the area.
• Schnucks Markets donated a tractor-trailer full of bleach, Gillespie said. CEO Todd Schnuck was on hand for a period. “It was great seeing the Teamsters and Schnucks working together,” Brennan noted.
• The St. Louis Cardinals gave out 1,000 vouchers for two free tickets to a future game.
• The American Red Cross collected $18,249 for flood relief.
Anticipating large crowds, the Teamsters also set up tables where they gathered hundreds of signatures on the Citizens’ Referendum petition demanding a public vote on this year’s anti-worker “right-to-work” law, which was passed by the Republican-controlled Missouri Legislature and signed by Governor Eric Greitens earlier this year.
If the petition drive is successful, it will prevent RTW from taking effect until a public vote can be held on the measure next year.