Volunteers needed for labor/community education center’s ongoing rehab

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PROFESSIONAL HELP from Painters District Council 58 members provided both advice and hands-on help in the rehab of the Workers Education Society. Painters from left: Director of Business Development Steve Wayland, Political Director Gary Otten and member Jamell Johnson. – WES photo

No matter what your skill, there’s a task for you

By TONY PECINOVSKY

Special Correspondent

Looking to do a little volunteer labor for a good labor cause? Here’s a great opportunity.

On the third Sunday of every month the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit community-labor education organization, hosts volunteer ‘Workdays’ from to noon to 4 p.m. at its headquarters located at 2929 S. Jefferson Ave. The next session will be Sunday, Nov. 15. Come on down!

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The headquarters, the former home of the Operating Engineers’ International Union Local 148, is a beautiful 10,000 square-foot union hall/community center that houses the Workers’ Education Society, Labor

WES-LogoCampaign for Single Payer Health Care, the Missouri People’s World, Latinos En Axion-STL (an immigrant rights organization), the Coalition for Truth In Independence (a disability rights group) and SHERAH (an African-American women’s rights organization).

Additionally, a number of other organizations have used the Society’s hall, including the Service Employees’ International Union-Health Care, ‘Show Me $15,’ Bread and Roses, and the National Lawyers’ Guild, among others.

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NO JOB TOO SMALL - Holly Roes, a state employee and member of CWA 6355, rings out a mop.

VOLUNTEERS DO ALL THE WORK

Volunteers who have been rehabbing the property since last fall maintain the building, purchased from Local 148 in September of last year. In fact, volunteers mow and trim the exterior of the property, sweep, mop and clean the interior and participate in the monthly Sunday ‘Workdays.’

Recent ‘Workday’ volunteers not only performed regular maintenance, they also painted a first floor office space, tore-up carpet on the second floor, began refinishing hardwood floors, building custom bookshelves and installing an ADA compliant bathroom hand rail and a wheelchair accessible ramp, among other tasks – all as volunteers!

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STACKER - Don Giljum, retired business manager of Operating Engineers 148, stacking extra wood.

Additionally, members of Painters District Council 58 assisted with painting of an upstairs library and conference room.

If you or your union would like to help, please contact Tony Pecinovsky (tony@workerseducationsociety.org / 314-583-9152).

DONATIONS WELCOME

If you are unable to physically help, please consider making a financial donation to help with materials and supplies. Make checks payable to: Workers’ Education Society, 2929 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, MO 63118.

To learn more about the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society, please visit www.workerseducationsociety.org.

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Activist workers group supports community groups; can you help?

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TOUCH UP - Francis Ryan, a Jesuit priest and SEIU member, does some touch-up painting in a corner office.

Not only is the Workers Education Society (WES) quickly becoming a hub of activity for a number grassroots, community-based organizations, it’s also building a neighborhood-based WES dues paying membership - activating individuals, families and small businesses specifically in St. Louis Wards 9 and 20.

“Not only are we proud and honored to host 'Show Me $15' during their fast food strike activities, we are also playing a leadership role in the campaign to raise the St. Louis City minimum wage to $15 an-hour,” said WES President Tony Pecinovsky.WES members have testified at Board hearings, canvassed Aldermanic wards, phone-banked and rallied. Additionally, our Aldermanic contacts have championed the increase.”

SUPPORTS COMMUNITY GROUPS

Not only is WES making space available in their headquarters at 2929 S. Jefferson to organizations like Latinos' En Axion (an immigrant rights groups), the Coalition for Truth in Independence (a disability rights group) and SHERAH (an African American women's rights group), it also hosts regular leadership development trainings with trade unionists, community leaders and student activists.

He extended an invitation to union and community groups needing a place to meet to consider WES’s centrally located facilities.

YOUR HELP NEEDED

“All of this takes funding,” said Pecinovsky. “We would ask individuals, unions and concerned organizations to help with a donation, any size, the St. Louis Workers' Education Society to help us continue, and expand our work for, and within, the community.”

WES is a 501(c)3 non-profit. All donations are tax deductible.

Checks should be made payable to: Workers Education Society and mailed to WES, 2929 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, MO 63118. Or donate online at: www.workerseducationsociety.org/donate/.

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