Labor Partnerships

For 80 years, United Way and the AFL-CIO have worked together to create a society where we all have the chance to reach our potential. Together, we strengthen our communities through coordinated volunteer efforts that improve our communities and provide services to working families facing personal and economic crises. Helping to build a healthier community is not only a union tradition – it’s the mission of United Way.

Our labor liaison team works in partnership with three surrounding area central labor councils (Saint Louis Central Labor Council, Southwestern IL Central Labor Council, and the Greater Madison County Federation) and two building trades councils (Saint Louis Building and Construction Trade Council and Southwestern IL Building & Construction Trade Council) to engage in joint actions driven by community needs. Union workers are the backbone of the community, and we do everything we can to support them through various programs as they support the St. Louis region. 

Unite with your union brothers and sisters in supporting United Way with a gift today.

Building Union Diversity (BUD) Program

The BUD program is dedicated to connecting St. Louis metropolitan residents with the growing opportunities for living wage employment in construction. BUD is also helping to address the growing need in the construction industry for a skilled and more inclusive workforce.  

Campaign and Trap Shoot Fundraiser

Each campaign year, workplace rallies are held at companies that employ union members. The rallies are held to encourage employee participation, donations, and promote awareness of community needs. 

The annual Trap Shoot & BBQ is a major fundraising event held each spring for the annual Labor/United Way Campaign. It is an exciting day of fundraising with community partners, labor leaders, and friends to support the United Way of Greater St. Louis. 

Direct Assist Program

Union members who are experiencing financial difficulties may be eligible for basic needs help through this program. Union members can contact the United Way Labor Help Line at 314-539-4189 for aid with utility payments, food, counseling, and other non-work-related issues. Please contact an Illinois labor liaison team member below if you live in one of the IL counties served by United Way of Greater Saint Louis or if your local labor union is based in the area.

The United Way Labor Liaison may ask the individual to confirm their union membership. Once needs are assessed, the Labor Liaison will research available resources and determine whether assistance is needed from the funds available. If assistance is appropriate, the Labor Liaison will request a payment from available funding made directly to the union member’s mortgage company, landlord or utility companies, etc. to prevent further action. 

Contact Labor Staff

Sonja Gholston-Byrd (CWA)

Vice President, Labor Engagement
United Way of Greater St. Louis
901 North 11th Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

Email Sonja

Rose McCowan (CWA)

Director, Labor Engagement
United Way of Greater St. Louis
910 N. 11th Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

Email Rose

Terry Knoth (IAM)

Senior Labor Representative, Labor Engagement
South Illinois Division
1124 Hartman Lane
Shiloh, IL 62221

Email Terry

Robert Masiero (IAM)

AFL-CIO Labor Liaison, Labor Engagement
North Illinois Division
2035 State St.
Granite City, IL 62040

Email Robert

Nick Dodson (UA)

AFL-CIO Labor Liaison, Labor Engagement
618-258-9800 x4143
North Illinois Division
707 Berkshire, Suite 270
East Alton, IL 62024

Email Nick

Making a Difference

In partnership with United Way, unions and their members provide their time, expertise, and resources to improve the community and enable individuals to live their best possible lives. Labor leaders serve on the United Way Executive Board, Regional Auxiliary Boards and Allocation Committees, as well as coordinate community service projects and volunteer at many of our United Way agencies.

Stronger Together

Through the partnership of United Way of Greater St. Louis with the St. Louis Labor Council, Madison County Federation of Labor and Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, more than 600 families receive confidential help each year from the United Way staff of Labor Liaisons. Help is just a phone call away for union members who seek guidance and referral to labor and community resources.