Significant Events in Local 527 History
January 14, 1915 – First documented meeting of Cement Finishers and Helpers.
February 25, 1915 – A motion is made and carries to have a telephone installed in the name of the Cement Finishers and Helpers.
March 25, 1915 – Communication is read from W.A. O’Keefe of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Finishers International Association. A motion to call a Special Meeting on April 8, 1915 on this subject carries.
April 8, 1915 – W.A. O’Keefe of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Finishers International Association is allowed the floor. The matter is laid over while a Constitution of the O.P. & C.F.I.A. is sent for. A motion to have O’Keefe present at the reading of the O.P. & C.F.I.A. Constitution carries. A motion to affiliate with the O.P. & C.F.I.A. carries unanimously. A motion to give O’Keefe a rising vote of thanks carries.
April 12, 1915 – Local 527 is chartered as a Local Union of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Finishers International Association.
April 22, 1915 – A motion to have the new charter framed carries.
May 13, 1915 – First documentation of a fine recorded. One Member is fined .25¢ for misconduct at the meeting while another is fined .50¢ then $1.50 for abusing the chair.
July 8, 1915 – A motion is made that the Secretary notify 2 unions that the finishers will do all frame setting. An Amendment is introduced to revise the motion to finishers will do all frame setting and any member of other locals not satisfied will be put off the job. After a discussion both motions are lost.
July 22, 1915 – A motion carries to permit a contractor to use a finishing machine on curb and gutter work provided it is finished by hand afterwards.
August 26, 1915 – Charges are preferred against a Trustee by the President. The charges are withdrawn when the Trustee resigns his position. These are the first set of charges preferred against a member documented.
February 10, 1916 – A motion to give Business Agent Fred Schultz a rising vote of thanks for what he did to raise the finishers pay to .62 ½ ¢ per hour carries.
April 16, 1916 – A motion to appoint a sick visiting committee carries and 3 members are appointed to serve.
March 8, 1917 – A motion to fine any member who leaves town or returns without notifying the local carries. A motion to place the fine at $2.00 carries.
September 13, 1917 – A motion to ask the bosses for .75¢ & .80¢ per hour on April 1, 1918 carries. A motion to buy a Ford Touring Car for the Business Agents use carries. A committee is appointed oversee the purchase.
October 10, 1918, October 24, 1918, November 14, 1918 and November 28, 1918 – The meetings on these dates are cancelled due to a ban placed on meetings by the Board of Health on account of the Spanish Influenza epidemic which is now raging over the country.
December 26, 1918 – A motion to ask a raise of wages to .90¢ for finishers & $1.00 for foreman of bosses carries effective April 1, 1919.
January 20, 1919 – Membership stands at 125 members.
January 23, 1919 – A motion to appoint 5 members to a committee to meet the bosses carries.
February 13, 1919 – The committee that conferred with a committee of the Cement Contractors Association on the new wage scale is reported. A motion to accept the agreement between the two committees carries. The agreement sets wages at .82½¢ per hour for finishers and .92½¢ per hour for foremen effective April 1, 1919.
March 13, 1919 – A motion that members not be allowed to use a trowel more that 12″ in length under a penalty of $5.00 carried to go into effect day 1.
August 14, 1919 – A motion to ask the bosses for 7 ½ ¢ per hour carries. A motion that on or after August 18, 1919 the cement finishers do not finish work where there is no cement finisher foreman over the concrete work carries.
August 28, 1919 – A motion that on jobs where there is more than a foreman & finishers, no foreman be allowed to use tools was lost. This subject was left to the discretion of the Business Agent.
October 23, 1919 – The committee that was appointed to meet with the bosses made a report. A motion asking that .90¢ for finishers and $1.00 for foremen effective January 1, 1920 & run to April 1, 1920 be accepted, carried.
December 11, 1919 – A motion to ask the bosses for $10.00 per day for finishers and $11.00 per day for foremen with double time for all overtime carries.
January 1920 – Membership stands at 127 members.
July 8, 1920 – A motion is made and carries that it goes on record that the cement finishers are claiming all liquid floor hardener and that companies be notified that the claim will become effective after 90 days of this date.
January 13, 1921 – The Board asked that the following be placed on the minutes, that all members are given to understand that this Board will not stand for any excuse in the future in so far as the violation of the rules or agreements that it must be strictly born in mind that all men of either Local must show card to Business Agent or to any Brother of either Local who demands same. Violation of this to be $500.00 fine.
March 10, 1921 – A communication from the Cement Contractors Association was received stating that after April 1st 1921 the wages for foreman would be $1.12 ½ per hour & finishers $1.00 per hour & all overtime to be at the rate of time & one half.
February 11, 1922 – Wages for Cement Finishers are cut from $1.25 per hour to $1.00 per hour or a 20% reduction.
February 13, 1930 – Discussion arose pertaining to a separate scale on Street and Sub-Division work. This matter was laid over until the Building Trades Committee have held a meeting and Brother Schultz reports back to this Local.
April 10, 1930 – After meeting with the bosses regarding a wage increase, the appointed committee reported that we have been offered a 7½¢ per hour increase with minor changes being made to the working rules.
May 8, 1930 – After being informed of a shift system that was being used to perform work, a committee is appointed to visit the job site to review and make a report regarding the system.
May 22, 1930 – After visiting the tank job the committee recommended that work on the tanks could be performed using shifts, but with sliding forms only. A communication from the Building Trades Council pertaining to a 6 hour day was read and a motion is made and seconded that we do not adopt a 6 hour day. The motion carried.
January 22, 1931– A motion is made and seconded that every member including officers be assessed $5.00 to be paid within 6 months twice, a rising vote is called for and every member in the hall arose carrying the motion unanimously. Brother F.W. Schultz states that he will loan the local $200.00. Brother Clem Schimff states that he will loan the local $500.00.
February 12, 1931– A motion is made, seconded and carries to move the local to 1431 N. Vandeventer.
March 12, 1931– A motion is made and seconded that the Executive Board meet with the General Contractors to find out their attitude towards the division of work. The chair instructs the Executive Board to meet on Friday March 13, 1931 to prepare some data regarding a 30 hour a week per man plan, which will be taken up with the Master Builders and the Cement Contractors Association in the near future.
March 26, 1931– A letter is read from the Master Builders Association and Cement Contractors Association approving a 30 hour a week per man plan. A petition is signed by 18 members complaining to the International about the new plan.
July 9, 1931– A motion is made by Brother George Jerrold that the auto now used by our Business Agent be placed in storage and the salary of our Business Agent be reduced to $15.00 per month until Brother F.W. Schultz, Business Agent gives the chair a written agreement not to take legal action against Local 527 in the event he (Schultz) is defeated in the next election.
August 1, 1931– Harry Metzner defeats F.W. Schultz in an election for Business Agent.
August 13, 1931– Brother Harry Metzner is duly installed as Business Agent. Brother George Jerrold asks for and received a rising vote of thanks and appreciation to Brother F.W. Schultz for past years of service to Local 527 and its members.
April 14, 1932– New wage scale for 1 year carries effective April 15, 1932 for finishers is $1.31¼ per hour or $10.50 per day and foreman is $1.43¾ per hour or $11.50 per day.
April 28, 1932– A motion is made, seconded and carries that Local 527 is represented in the proposed “Beer Parade” to be held May 14th, providing the local is to no expense.
March 23, 1933– A motion is made, seconded and carries that the Business Agent sell the local’s car, an Oldsmobile which brings $3,000.00.
April 13, 1933– Brother Metzner tenders his resignation as Business Agent. Resignation accepted. A motion is made, seconded and carries that President Jerrold serves as Business Agent until the next regular election. A motion is made, seconded and carries that the Business Agent also serve as the President until the next regular election. A motion is made, seconded and carries that the local allow the Business Agent expenses for running his car.
June 8, 1933– At this Nomination of Officers meeting, it is declared that the President will also act as the Business Agent.
July 13, 1933– After winning a recent election, Brother George Jerrold is installed as President and Business Agent.
July 27, 1933– A motion is made, seconded and carries that the Local move to Vandeventer and North Market.
September 14, 1933– An Emergency Working Rule that limits the amount of hours worked by a member not to exceed 30 hours total for the week is passed and established effective September 18, 1933, with stiff fines for violation of the rule.
September 28, 1933– The Emergency Working Rule is revised not to affect cement finishers acting as a Superintendent on work.
December 14, 1933– A motion is made, seconded and carries to abolish the Emergency Working Rule.
April 26, 1934– A motion is made, seconded and carries that the initiation fee for an apprentice be $50.00 with an additional $5.00 for registration fee.
August 9, 1934– A motion is made, seconded and carries that the President be permitted to take members who are back in their dues and place them on unfair work, carrying the umbrella. They will receive wages of $1.00 per hour.
March 28, 1935– A motion is made, seconded and carries that the cement finisher foreman shall hire all cement finishers. Any foreman failing to comply with this law will be fined $25.00 for the 1st offense. A motion is made, seconded and carries that any finisher staying on a job more than 30 minutes will be fined $5.00 for the 1st offense and a foreman will be subject to a fine for not reporting the said member.
August 22, 1935– A motion is made, seconded and carries to increase the initiation fee to $200.00 for new members that have not belonged to the local before.
August 12, 1937– Communication is received from the “Voice of Labor” announcing the circulation of the new labor paper will begin shortly. Subscription to the paper costs $1.00 per year.
August 26, 1937– A motion is made, seconded and carries that on all jobs where rubbing is to be done the foreman shall notify the Business Agent before hand, so that the Business Agent can visit the job to see that the rubbing is done strictly according to specifications on the job.
September 9, 1937– A motion is made, seconded and carries that no cement finisher be allowed to solicit any job as long as he is employed.
January 3, 1938– As of this date there are 132 dues paying members belonging to Local 527.
February 10, 1938– Union dues are raised from $4.00 to $5.00 per month effective March 1, 1938.
March 10, 1938– Communication is received from the St. Louis Labor Tribune. This is the 1st documentation of the existence of the labor paper.
April 28, 1938– Communication is received from the Building Trades Council pertaining to a strike that was on the St. Charles Bridge which also affected other jobs in which federal funds were allocated and stating that calling the strike had proved very effective. Due to the strike the Missouri State Highway Commission had agreed to insert in all future contracts of this nature, a clause providing for the payment of the prevailing rate of wages on all work in this vicinity.
July 28, 1938– The use of a longitudinal float on a job here is discussed. A motion is made and seconded to lay claim to the operation of the longitudinal float.
December 22, 1938– Communication is read from the International calling our membership to use any and all economic forces at our disposal to control work that was awarded to us through decisions rendered by the President of the Building Trades Department of the A.F. of L. particularly on asphalt mastic tile, the rubbing and grinding of concrete and the setting of strips, grades and forms. It further stated that the International Officers are doing all that is possible to assist us in this fight against other trades in the Building Trades Department who are defying and ignoring the decisions by the President of the Building Trades Department of the American Federation of Labor.
August 24, 1939– It is reported that President and Business Agent George Jerrold passed away on Monday, August 14, 1939. It is ruled that the Charter of Local 527 be draped for a period of 30 days. Nominations are opened for offices due to the death of Brother Jerrold. Brothers John Coleman and Wm. Robertson are nominated for President and Business Agent. A motion is made, seconded and carries that the election be held on Saturday, August 26, 1939.
September 14, 1939– The results of the recent election for President and Business Agent were reported and the results found Brother John Coleman with 73 votes and Brother Wm. Robertson with 29 votes. Brother Coleman was declared elected and installed into office.
November 9, 1939– A lengthy discussion arises about laborers driving stakes while a finisher is holding them. A motion is made and seconded that we live up to our Jurisdiction about the driving of stakes, but after further discussion it is decided to leave this matter to the discretion of the Business Agent.
February 8, 1940– A proposed agreement which will allow use of finishing machines and power float machines is adopted. A motion is made, seconded and carries that apprentices be barred from operating any finishing machines or power float machines. A committee is appointed to formulate road work rules.
March 14, 1940– A motion is made, seconded and carries to adopt a .25¢ per day assessment additional dues for a period of 1 year effective March 18, 1940. All apprentices are ruled exempt from paying this assessment at the April 10, 1940 meeting.
May 8, 1940– A motion is made, seconded and carries that vacuum mats be incorporated in the new work jurisdiction of the cement finisher.
August 28, 1940– The laying claim to a bull float on road work is discussed, but no action is taken.
January 2, 1941– A motion is made, seconded and carries to accept the Executive Board recommendation that the local procure monthly buttons that the members and permit men must wear on all jobs. A motion is made, seconded and carries to adopt “That no member be allowed to act as a foreman on more than one job at a time”.
January 22, 1941– A committee is appointed to procure chairs and tables for use at 5301 Easton Ave. and to communicate with the owners to obtain a lease of 3 or 5 years.
February 26, 1941– A motion is made, seconded and carries to adopt a change in the rate of monthly dues to $3.00 for the months of January thru April and October thru December and $8.00 for the months of May thru September. A motion is made, seconded and carries to employ an office girl at the rate of $15.00 per week. A motion is made, seconded and carries to discontinue the .25¢ per day dues assessment effective March 1, 1941.
May 14, 1941– The Executive Board agrees to give Brother John Coleman authorization to sign an agreement to work shift work on the St. Louis Ordinance Plant, with the understanding that the work will be prosecuted on a six consecutive day basis of three shifts each, weather permitting and that the individual employees in our craft on each shift would be on the job and carried on the payroll for eight hours and this total of eight hours would include as work time a lunch period of one half hour. All work done on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays would be double time rate. All with the stipulation that if any other craft is paid double time for overtime in lieu of shift work, then the agreement would be automatically voided.
May 28, 1941– A motion is made, seconded and carries to change the rate of monthly dues for residential finishers to $2.00 for the months of January thru April and November and December and $6.00 for the months of May thru October.
August 27, 1941– A Telegram from International President J.E. Rooney ordering Local 527 to work overtime at the time and one half rate at the Curtis-Wright job was read and the Business Agent stated that our members were working for that rate. Proposed 10 hour shifts at the Small Arms Ammunition Plant were discussed and a motion was made, seconded and carried that Local 527 adopts the shift plan, providing the other trades in the Building Trades Council do also. February 25, 1942– A motion is made, seconded and carries that “All cement finishers working on any job in the jurisdiction of Local 527 changing job for any one contractor said finishers must be placed on job by Local 527”. This rule will be in force for a period of 2 years.
August 12, 1942– A Bowling Team is formed to represent Local 527.
October 14, 1942– Due to rationing of gasoline to members the Executive board recommended that for the duration of the war the local would hold 1 meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of each month and that the officers would meet at a later date each month to take up matters between meetings.
November 27, 1942– The practice of throwing on dry top on floor work with shovels was discussed. After a discussion, a motion was made, seconded and carried that the Business Agent stand instructed to notify all foremen that here-after all dry top must be put on by hand.
February 24, 1943– A motion is made and seconded to abolish the law of the Local placing members on all jobs and that members are allowed to procure their own jobs. The motion lost. May 12, 1943- A motion is made, seconded and carries that the chair appoint a committee to take up the longitudinal float and to draw up an agreement with the Municipal Contractors on roadwork.
June 9, 1943– The Local purchases a bank building at 5325 Easton Ave. and moves the hall to the new location. It is announced that meetings will be held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month.
January 27, 1944– A Resolution to separate the offices of President and Business Agent and combine the offices of Business Agent and Financial Secretary is read. A motion is made, seconded and carries to adopt the Resolution. A motion is made, seconded and carries to hold only 1 meeting a month, every 2nd Thursday
November 8, 1945– A motion is made, seconded and carries that effective January 1, 1946 the initiation fee be raised to $140.00.
June 13, 1946– A motion is made, seconded and carries that Brother John Coleman can appoint an Assistant Business Agent whenever he deems it advisable.
August 8, 1946– A motion is made, seconded and carries that all members working on Residential or Commercial work pay the same dues amounts, as there is only one scale now in effect for Residential and Commercial work.
November 14, 1946– Wages for Journeyman Cement Finishers are $2.00 per hour and $2.12½ per hour for Foremen.
December 12, 1946– A motion is made, seconded and carries that the initiation fee be raised to $150.00.
April 10, 1947– A motion is made, seconded and carries that finishers be allowed to carry a 24″ Darby.
January 8, 1948– Communication is read from the International pertaining to a letter wrote by Local # 802 to the International about jurisdiction rights to Jefferson and Franklin Counties and to which the International answered to the effect that according to their records under date of April 8, 1942 the General Executive Board approved of the consolidation of Local # 855 of De Soto, Missouri with Local # 527 of St. Louis, Missouri and therefore Local # 3 and Local #527 have jurisdiction over the 2 counties.
May 13, 1948– A new agreement was ratified by the rank and file that called for wages for on or after May 1, 1948 Journeyman wages to be $2.25 per hour and Foreman wages to be $2.50 per hour. On or after July 1, 1948 Journeyman wages to be $2.37½ per hour and Foreman wages remain at $2.50 per hour. On or after September 1, 1948 Journeyman wages to be $2.50 per hour and Foreman wages to be $2.75 per hour and no finisher will receive foreman wages until there are 4 finishers working for the same employer on the same job. After 6 finishers are working on the same job for the same employer the Foreman will not be allowed to handle tools.
November 11, 1948– A motion is made, seconded and carries that Local 527 throw a party to celebrate the election of President Truman on January 20, 1949.
November 10, 1949– Communication is read from the International pertaining to the decision rendered by the National Joint Board for Settlement of Jurisdictional Disputes awarding the screeding of concrete to the Cement Finishers in this locality, but in which a paragraph was protested through the International by Brother John Coleman as being vague in its interpretation, read to the effect that the National Joint Board had re-worded the disputed paragraph in favor of the Cement Finisher. The Cement Finisher officially started screeding of concrete on November 7, 1949.
August 10, 1950– The contract Negotiating Committee reported that an agreement has been reached whereby becoming effective October 15, 1950 Cement Finishers will be paid $2.75 per hour and Foremen $3.00 per hour and the Agreement will run for 20 months. The Concrete Contractors Association also agreed to start paying .10¢ per hour on time actually worked starting September 1, 1950 for a Welfare Fund with benefits to its members possibly starting January 1, 1951.
November 9, 1950– Brother John Coleman stated that he had contacted International General Vice President John Hauck regarding terrace step forms and Brother Hauck informed him that an agreement had been reached between the Carpenters and our International whereby terrace step forms, 1 board high porch forms and forms on all work which are taken down and the work finished the same day shall be the work of the Cement Finisher.
December 13, 1951- Brother John Coleman stated that he came to an agreement with the Carpenters whereby the caulking and pointing up of all joints on all tilt up slabs is the work of the Cement Finisher.
June 12, 1952- A motion is made, seconded and carries to change the name of the Cement Finishers Union Local 527 to Cement Masons Union Local 527 to conform with the Resolution adopted at the 1950 International Convention.
August 14, 1952- An agreement is reached on a wage increase whereby raising wages by .15¢ per hour subject to the approval of the Construction Industries Stabilization Commission in Washington, D.C. and also a stipulation of upon the disbanding or termination of the Commission, an additional .10¢ per hour would immediately become effective.
November 13, 1952- A motion is made, seconded and carries that in the future all members who want to work on Saturday must obtain a written permit from the office.
April 9, 1953- The limit of one board height of 12” reached in the agreement between the Cement Masons and the Carpenters is explained by Brother John Coleman.
July 13, 1953- A motion is made, seconded and carries to accept the Concrete Contractors Committee proposal of a wage increase of .15¢ per hour to be paid in 3 installments of .5¢ effective on August 1, 1953, May 1, 1954 and August 1, 1954 and to remain in force until August 1, 1955 with the proviso that if living costs should soar beyond reason, further negotiations to take care of these living costs would be held by the concerned parties of the wage increase. The Local #527 Negotiation Committee reported that a modification to the working rules was requested which read “If at anytime during a work day the final finishing on floor work is done after 12 o’clock midnight it would be permissible by the employer to further reduce the work crew below the 50% rule, but at no time shall this number be less than 1 Finisher for each two hundred square feet of unfinished floor. This change would not apply to shift work. A motion was made, seconded and carries to adopt the modification.
December 10, 1953- Local 527 becomes affiliated with the Missouri State Federation of Labor. It is stated that due to the Carpet and Linoleum Layers trying to infringe on the jurisdiction of various locals by petitioning the Building Trades Council to change their name on their working cards from the Carpet, Linoleum and Resilient Tile Layers to Floor Layers, in order to prevent any encroachments on our jurisdictional rights that it be advisable to change the Local’s name to Cement Masons and Floor Layers Union Local #527 and that the International General President had sanctioned the name change if and when deemed necessary in the future. A motion was made, seconded and carried to approve the name change in the future if deemed at all necessary.
January 14, 1954- It is reported that the Carpet and Linoleum Layers had changed their name to Carpet, Linoleum, Hardwood and Resilient Tile Floor Layers instead of the name that they had petitioned to use earlier.
April 8, 1954- Brother John Coleman reports that Business Agent Baugh of Farmington, Missouri Local 802 had contacted him and had discussed the feasibility of Local 527 taking over the jurisdiction of the Farmington Local. Brother Coleman further states that he had also been contacted by Business Agent Windmiller of the Louisiana, Missouri Local with a similar proposition. A motion is made, seconded and carries that this matter be discussed by the Executive Board with Baugh and Windmiller and if the Board see fit Brother Coleman hereby would be empowered to make a trip to Cleveland with Baugh and or Windmiller to endeavor to convince General President Rooney that in our opinion this move would be beneficial for everyone earning his living as a Cement Mason in these three jurisdictions. It is decided that if General President Rooney thinks this move would be unwise then the idea would be permanently abandoned.
July 29, 1954- Cutting of joints on Weber’s road job in Wentzville, Missouri was discussed and the Executive Board concurred with Brother Coleman that the Cement Masons may lose this work.
April 13, 1955- Hearings are held in Jefferson City, Missouri regarding the “Right to Work Law”.
June 1955 thru November 1955- Several meetings are held between the Negotiation Committees of the Concrete Contractors Association and Cement Masons Local 527 on various dates during this period of time. These meetings result in various changes to the working rules with wage increases of .25¢ per hour thru May 1, 1956 and .10¢ per hour for the following year.
July 14, 1956- Brothers Thomas Coleman and Joseph Salmeri are elected Business Agents. Brother Jerry Nelson is elected President.
August 28, 1956- A motion is made, seconded and carries that the Executive Board recommend that when a member changes contractors or goes to work on a job, he must notify the union office and failure to do so will result in the member being subject to a fine.
November 8, 1956- The daily wage is $28.20 per day.
January 1957 thru May 1957- Several meetings are held between the Negotiation Committees of the AGC, Builders Association and Cement Masons Local 527 on various dates during this period of time. These meetings result in various changes to the working rules which include a Travel Time request of 7½ ¢ per hour, layoff provisions and floor work provisions. The membership votes and ratifies a three year contract with wage increases of .17½ ¢ per hour for the 1st year, .17½¢ per hour for the 2nd year and .10¢ per hour for the 3rd year.
October 1, 1959- An apprenticeship Program is discussed and a motion is made, seconded and carries adopting the Apprenticeship Program as outlined by a Representative of the Bureau of Apprenticeship U.S. Department of Labor.