Founder Steve Erdelen retiring due to health issues
ProUnion St. Louis!, the popular Facebook group that promotes union issues and provides a space for union members to share and discuss topics relating to union members, has a new group administrator to run the page – a familiar face to union members – Cathy Sherwin.
A veteran trade unionist and CWA member, Sherwin is the retired Midwest field communications coordinator for the National AFL-CIO and current Missouri state vice president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. She has a deep understanding of workers’ issues and frequently can be found participating in local rallies, visiting picket lines and attending local council and board meetings to speak out on workers’ issues.
“I’m very happy that someone who lives and breathes the Labor Movement has signed on as primary administrator,” said group founder Steve Erdelen, who is relinquishing his administrative role to deal with health issues. “She’ll do a great job.”
POWERFUL, VIBRANT TOOL FOR UNION MEMBERS
“I’m excited to continue Steve’s incredible great work,” Sherwin said. “The Facebook page is powerful and vibrant tool for our union members. We are facing some big fights yet to come in Missouri, and having our union members talking to one another and getting involved will be critical to our Movement’s continued success.”
Erdelen will continue to be listed as an administrator, and will occasionally post on the page, but said all decisions, post approvals and operations will be in Sherwin’s hands.
Erdelen, who has an active withdrawal card from Teamsters Local 688 and was a member of the Newspaper Guild during his days at the old Globe-Democrat, created the Pro-Union group six years ago with 25 participants; today it has 13,500 members.
“I’m proud that I’ve been a part of getting the word out about the importance of unions in our region,” Erdelen said in his announcing his decision to hand off the administrative role. “It’s now someone else’s turn.”
‘AN HONOR TO PLAY PART’
“I’d like to thank each and every one of our members for showing up here and participating in the conversations about Labor and then showing up out on the streets to gather petitions and handing out and displaying the anti-RTW signs in yards all over Missouri and in icons on your profiles,” Erdelen said, reflecting on the fight to defeat Prop A (“right-to-work”) in Missouri. “It was inspiring man. We beat the big moneyed interests and we beat them good! It was an honor to play a part in it.”
Praise, ‘thank you’ To Erdelen for his ‘labor of love’
Steve Erdelen started the Pro-Union St. Louis Facebook group as a labor of love, without any salary or compensation. Reader response to his retirement was swift, thoughtful and appreciative of his efforts.
A few of the comments left on the page following his announcement:
- “Thank you Steve for joining us all in one spot. This page was a HUGE part of fighting RTW! Thank you! I’m sending prayers your way.” – Angie Stamme
- “Your vision and hard work helped change the St. Louis labor community for the better. Thank you.” – Darin Gilley
- “Thank You Steve for all you have done! Wishing you and yours the best in all the years to come! Hit those golf balls straight and keep the fish on the hook! Your time and efforts are much appreciated!” – John DeBold
- “The world would be a better place with more men like you.” – Judi Simms
- “You’ve done an awesome job, thank you for your service!” – Elizabeth Barton
- “You made me cry, you jerk. Very proud of my ‘little’ brother.” – Diane Burns
- “ …You have done one hell of a job…Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the work you put in… (time) to have some fun.”
– Charles Decker
- “Awesome job Steve enjoy retirement.” – Tod Eaton
- “Thank you for your time, effort, and dedication to both this group and to the Union fight. I have really enjoyed this group. Wishing you all the best. In solidarity.” – Cindy Ruger
- “Thank you, sir, for all you’ve done for unions in this area.” – Rodney King
- “Thanks for all the great work and dedication. Enjoy yourself, you’ve earned it.” –Jon McDaniel
- “You Sir, are a champion.” – Larry Kelley
- “Thank you, sir, for all you have done. I tip my hat and raise my glass to you.” – John ‘John O’ Owens
- “You’ve done well. You’ve brought us all together. Thx.” – Edd Schwab
- “Great job Steve.” – Rudy L. Smith, UA 562 & IUOE 148
- “Thanks Steve! You made a difference.” – Ray Moran