The History of Cement Masons Union Local 527
Cement Masons Union Local 527 has a rich history and has played a huge part in the success of the union labor movement in the St. Louis area. The following is a short summary of events that lead to the founding and growth of Local 527.
In the early 1900’s a group recognized as the Lodge of Cement Finishers and Helpers were represented by the Building Trades of St. Louis. On April 8, 1915 after several meetings regarding union organizing efforts by W.A. O’Keefe of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Finishers International Association with the Lodge, a motion was made and carried to affiliate with the O.P. & C.F.I.A. On April 12, 1915 the Lodge was chartered as a Local Union 527 of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Finishers International Association. Brother Fred Schulz presided as the first and only Local 527 Business Agent representing its then membership of approximately 100 members until 1931. During the depression era, Local 527 endured many obstacles which required that drastic measures be taken by the local to remain in existence. The Business Agent was forced to sell the local’s car to obtain funds, an emergency working rule limiting the amount of hours worked by a member was passed and loans were made to the local by several of its members. After several rough years, the changes that were made to improve the finances are abolished and the local purchased its first building on June 9, 1943 and moved to the new location at 5325 Easton Ave in St. Louis, Missouri. On June 12, 1952 Cement Finishers Union Local 527 changed its name to Cement Masons Union Local 527 to conform with a Resolution that was adopted at the 1950 Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Convention. Cement Masons Union Local 527 has grown strong and has been a volatile part of the Organized Labor movement in the St. Louis area since its early existence as a Lodge. Its commitment to the construction industry in the region remains today with its continued support and affiliation with the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council and PRIDE of St. Louis Inc.