Painters District Council 58 Celebrates 135 Years


At the beginning of the month, the Painters District Council 58 celebrated 135 years of the International Union of the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), which was originally formed in 1887.

Council 58 reportedly celebrated with a trip down memory lane of the union’s success over the years.

“As the union expanded, the idea of the word ‘local’ under the umbrella of a District Council caught on,” said Joe Mueller, District Council 58 Assistant Business Manager of Missouri. “The idea was to provide local and regional union offices so members could attend meetings without having to drive long distances.”

About District Council 58

According to District Council 58, IUPAT formed the council for a collective of jurisdictions across Illinois on March 13, 1966. Roughly two decades later, the council was expanded to serve the metro-east area around Collinsville, through Central and Southern Illinois.

In March 2014, the council expanded a second time to encompass the eastern half of Missouri. Today, District Council 58 serves 20 locals within its jurisdiction. It is reported to have 23 full-time representatives that service and assist its 4,200 members throughout the 57 southernmost Illinois counties and 62 counties in Missouri.

Over the years since its creation, District Council 58 has partnered with junior colleges and established a certified program where apprentices can receive college credits for their participation. In addition, the council established a curriculum for journeyman upgrade training and safety training courses to assist contractors in meeting the demands for a safe construction workplace.

The District Council 58 is currently in the process of merging Glaziers LU 513 and all painting locals into one apprenticeship program, according to its website.

Anniversary Celebration

Reporters from the Labor Tribune share that District Council 58 is continuing to grow, and despite not being on the council’s website, has expanded to parts of Iowa and Arkansas. It has also recently added Kentucky and Tennessee to its vast coverage area.

In terms of offices by state, the council reports that it has local offices throughout Missouri, including in St. Charles, Jefferson City, Festus, Cape Girardeau, and two in St. Louis for its painting and drywall finishing trades and Local 513, which is a part of the council and primarily consists of Glaziers.

In Illinois, the council maintains offices in Collinsville, Springfield, Decatur and Champaign. It also has one office in Nashville.

The council reports that each local is overseen by its own executive board, while the District Council and its executive board oversees all locals under its umbrella under the direction of Business Manager Carl Farrell and Assistant Business Manager Mueller.

“This keeps the members active and involved in their local, and its operation,” said Mueller, who is also acting business agent of Painters Local 1156. “So, it’s a built-in mechanism that allows members to have more say-so, and more interaction with the general business of their local union.”

In celebrating the recent milestone, District Council 58 shared that diversity is another aspect the collective takes pride in. To date, it reports the employment of 154 women and 370 minorities.

Mueller went on to share that District Council 58 members finish the installation of resinous floors, finish drywall, paint, wallpaper, hang vinyl, create murals and marbelizing and wood graining. Members also do infrastructure work in elevated and ground storage tanks, sanitary sewer systems, water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, refineries, pipelines and bridges.

“Anything that you can think of that can be painted, we paint it,” Mueller said. “We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve been around for 135 years and consider it a badge of courage that we’ve fought through phony “right-to-work (for less” legislation twice, and we’ve actually grown stronger over time. We’re still here, and we’ll be here another 100 years, plus.”


Tagged categories: Good Technical Practice; International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; IUPAT/LMCI; LMCI - Painters & Allied Trades; LMCI - Painters & Allied Trades; NA; North America; Painters; Program/Project Management; Unions

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