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Local 893 celebrates 50th anniversary
July 15, 2014 - Mike Donahey
On April 12, 1964, workers at Fisher Controls voted to be represented by the United Auto Workers.
The tally was 453 for the UAW, and 435 against.
A razor-thin 18 vote margin of 888 cast propelled the pro-union forces into the victory column after several defeats previously at Fisher.
The April 12 vote would resonate in the years to come locally and regionally, as the UAW organized seven more plants employing approximately 2,500 workers.
Additionally, two plants were under contract to other unions, resulting in the unionization of all the city's major manufacturers being complete by 1971 according to UAW archives.
The April 2 vote also marked a dramatic shift in labor-management relationships, as prior to 1962, Marshalltown was a non-union town.
The UAW reached its peak with 1,800 members in the 1970s.
It not only represented workers at town heavyweights Fisher, Lennox and Marshalltown Trowel, but other industries and businesses which have since closed, consolidated, or purchased by others and/or moved over the years.
They were Dunham-Bush (closed), KIOWA (now Ace Precision Casting), Marshalltown Instruments (moved) the Marshall County Care Facilty (closed), Meekers (closed) and RAMCO (closed), were several.
Currently, the UAW represents workers at Fisher Controls/Emerson Process Management, Interface Sealing Solutions (formerly Cooper Manufacturing), Lennox Manufacturing, Ryerson-Tull Coil Processing, and Ritchie Industries, Inc., in Conrad, among others.
Local 893 will celebrate the golden anniversary during its upcoming annual summer picnic at the union hall, 411 Iowa Ave. W.
Read all about Local 893 in Marshall Times, a special supplement inserted in your Sunday Times-Republican.