By MARY ANN HOLLEY
Honoring those union members who were killed or injured on the job, a group of union member volunteers from the North County Labor Club – members of Sprinklers Fitters Local 268, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1 and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 – spent May 5 cleaning up the grounds and planting flowers at the Shrine of St. Joseph, the patron saint of the worker, in preparation for the May 6 Robert O. Kortkamp Memorial Union Labor Mass and Interfaith Prayer Service, remembering workers who passed or were killed or died on the job in the past year.
North County Labor Club Vice President Tim Rone, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 1, said he was proud so many young members came out to help with the project. Planting flowers and sprucing up the grounds wasn’t a monumental project, but he said the young men gave up their Saturday to get involved and they should be recognized for their support.
“I am proud of these members and the little things they do to make our community a better place,” Rone said. “It’s part of what unions and Labor Clubs do, part of what our Labor Club is about.” See additional photos from the day below.
That could be lost, he said, if Prop A (“right-to-work”) is not defeated by voters on Aug. 7.
“If ‘right-to-work’ is not repealed in Missouri, we will lose a lot more than wages and benefits and the rest that goes with union membership,” Rone said. “The entire state will also lose these kinds of things that union members do to give back to their communities.”
Vote NO on Prop A on Aug. 7 to defeat RTW.
This year’s memorial service remembered members lost, in particular Brother Frank Langston, a member of Teamsters Local 682 in St. Louis, who was fatally injured Feb. 22 when struck by a random bullet fired in a nearby shooting. A 25-year-old St. Louis man was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting that killed Brother Langston and another man who was the target of the shooting.
Brother Langston, who was employed by Raineri Ready Mix, was delivering a load of concrete for a Metropolitan Sewer District project about half a block away and was hit by a stray bullet. He died the next day.