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Peoria Local 165 historical highlights
Jul 26, 2013

Highlights of Local 165’s (Peoria County) History

w 1901 – a Peoria-based “Hod Carriers & Building Laborers Union” founded

w1903 – A Peoria-based “Laborers” union (for any worker not in a union)

w American Federation of Labor Federal Labor Union 8857 chartered Jan. 31, 1901 as the “Hod Carriers &  Building Laborers Union.”  The AFL chartered local unions without an international as “Federal Labor Unions,” meaning they were AFL directly affiliated. 

w 1901 officers - Thomas Sylvester Dennis – first President; Charter members included:

Thomas S. Dennis, Ed Trunk, R. Thompson, W. Collins, John Torris, Fred Fisher & John Scanlin

w April 27, 1903 Sewer workers organized in this union strike to win a pay increase from $1.25 a day to $1.75

w April 1903 – International Hod Carriers & Building Laborers Union (AFL) organized.

w In 1908, the Peoria organized “Hod Carriers & Building Laborers Union,” 400 members strong, voted to affiliate with the International Hod Carriers & Building Laborers Union of North America.

w In 1913 this Peoria union affiliated with the Hod Carriers (LiUNA), founded in 1903.

w As World War I ended, Peoria-area trades pushed to expand members.  Local 165 added 100 new members in 1919, 58 in 1920.


w Charles Barden, former business manager for Local 165, was killed in a motorcycle accident in August 1938, while working as a park policeman.

w Peoria Building & Trades delegates 1938 - Earl Metzger, Robert Schlauchter, W.A. Woods

w Peoria Building & Trades officers 1938 included Joe McGrane, Local 165, Vice-President

w 1942 officers

Milton Hasty, business manager,

Ralph Perilless, assistant business manager,

Joseph Lynal, President,

Thomas Bambrough, Vice-President,

George Losh, Financial Secretary,

William Bambrough, recording secretary,

George Benn, sergeant-at-arms,

Trustees: Nick Trunk, C.T. “Swede” Erickson &

Joseph Hodges

Exec. Board: Jude Hill, Ralph Metts       

w 1950 officers

 George Losh, William Bambrough, Frank Perilless, Harry Hagemer;  Joseph McGrane, Cooney James, Zeke Closen, C.T. “Swede” Erickson

w In politics: 1937 - 165 member & officer Joe McGrane runs for city clerk.

w In the community:

May 1938 – 165 members Leonard Buckingham, and Kenneth Eber Lee, who was working under the name of Ted Smith, awarded a Carnegie Medal for rescuing assistant engineer Harry Opper from a pit at Hiram-Walker. Lee died during the rescue

w 1942 -World War II – “Laborers have 125 men in service”

w Wages: 1935 – 75 cents an hour (no benefits)

1939 – 87.5 cents an hour (no benefits)

1962 - $3.375 (no benefits)

1963 - $3.475 (no benefits)

1969 - $4.65 (40 cents for benefit)

1975 - $8.40

2013 $28.60 ($51.96 with benefits)

w Pension rates 1972 - 25 cents an hour

1973 – 35 cents an hour

1976 – 42 cents an hour

1977- 60 cents an hour

1980 – 65 cents an hour

1981 – 85 cents an hour

w 1939 – Over 1,000 Works Progress Administration (WPA)  workers strike, protesting not being paid union scale

Great Plains Laborers' District Council
4208 W Partridge Way
Peoria, IL 61615

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