History

History

History

In 1935, a journeyman meat cutter working in the retail stores in the Quad City area asked his employer to be excused from work the following Saturday to get married. His request was denied, he took the day off without permission, and he was fired. On that day, Jasper Rose (the founder of our District Local Union) started to organize a union for the Quad City area and Clinton, Iowa.

On August 3, 1936, Jasper Rose’s union (with 83 members) received a charter from the Amalgamated Meat Cutterys & Butcher Workmen of North America, AFL. Jasper Rose was elected as the first principal officer, Secretary-Treasurer & Business Manager, and Vern Hudson was elected as the first President of District Local 431.

By 1938, the District Local Union had over 700 members and Jasper Rose was hired as the first paid full-time Union Representative. The Local achieved signed contracts with many retail employers to reduce the work week from 60 hours to 48 hours and establish wage increases, work rules, seniority, and grievance procedures.

In 1947, about 600 members created the Voluntary Death Benefit Fund and set up the rules to govern it.

By 1960, the District Local had established a Credit Union (which later merged into the Alcoa Employees Credit Union) and a Health & Welfare Fund for the retail stores.

In February 1975, Des Moines, Iowa Local 367 of the AMC&BW merged into District Local 431.

Our first major strike came in the winter of 1978 against Eagle Food stores. The retail employers formed an association with the understanding that if the union would strike one employer, the rest of the employers would lock out our members. Immediately after the strike began, our members were locked out at A & P, Jewel Foods, Krogers, Geifmans, and Randalls Supermarkets. Hundreds of Retail Clerks and Teamsters honored our picket lines at Eagles. The major chain stores imported and hired workers to replace our strikers and supporters who were honoring our picket line. Hundreds of our members from other units came out in support with financial contributions and walked the picket line. Within three weeks, a contract was settled without any concessions.

Just one year later, in 1979, another major strike took place with Oscar Mayer in Davenport, Iowa over job security. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were donated by our other units to help pay for health insurance and other emergency needs of the strikers. After a long four weeks of striking, an agreement was reached granting the industry settlement, with the additions of a double pension for employees who qualified if a department or plant closed, inter-plant transfers between the Madison and Davenport Oscar Mayer plants, and restrictions on sub-contracting language.

Later in 1979 a merger was consummated between the International Unions of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of N.A. and the Retail Clerks, creating the largest International Union within the AFL-CIO, the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union.

In November 1985, UFCW Local 46 in Waterloo, Iowa, and UFCW Local 1470 in the Quad Cities area merged into District Local 431.

Our latest merger took place in June 2001, with Locals 150A in Dubuque, Iowa, and 166G in Waterloo, Iowa.

 

 

After over 60 years in our Union Hall on 3rd Street in Davenport, Iowa, our Local moved to a new location to better serve our members and our community.  Our new Union Hall is located at 2411 W. Central Park Avenue, Davenport, IA (on the corner of Lincoln and West Central Park) which is centrally located for our Union Family.

We are proud to be able to utilize our new location for membership and steward meetings, education workshops for our members, and to partner with community organizations that share the same passion for workers and families that we do.