Local 974 chartered with the INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD of the TEAMSTERS on March 1, 1950. Prior to becoming affiliated with the Teamsters we were "United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America", Local 1140, CIO. The last contract enforced in 1949 signed by our then Financial Secretary H. Fortier and President Lester George found Painter, Bodymen and Machinists at $1.51 per hour and Mechanics, Welders, Radiator Men and Machinists Specialists at $1.46 per hour. Other wages between $1.20 for Service Sales to $ .93 & $ .94 for Watchmen and Errand Boys.
With the change to the Teamsters and the American Federation of Labor (AFL) a first Teamster contract was gained with the Minneapolis Automobile Dealers Association and was ratified on April 16, 1950 with Bodymen, Painters, Machinists and Mechanics wages at $1.75 to $1.80 per hour to $1.20 to $1.45 for Janitors, Runners, etc.
Over the years Local 974, under its charter, has gained contract coverage for Heavy, Medium, Light Truck, Automobile Service and Parts Employees including Auto body and Paint shops. Both franchised and independent shops. When Service Stations were full service in Minnesota and you had your oil checked, windshields washed along with gas pumped, it was Local 974 who unionized them and bargained for their wages. When service stations had service bays with two or more Mechanics, we too organized them. As the industry changed to self-service stations and now only have cashiers and managers we lost the right to represent those in that industry.
Local 974 is the Rental Car Guys having contracts for Rental and Leasing establishments for both cars and trucks. We organize Mechanics (Technicians) Service Employees and Counter Sales. Also Plastic Employees and Inside Helpers in industries such as Plastic Injection Molding.
We at Local 974 look forward to representing more (currently non-covered) members in any of the industries that we have jurisdiction. Our geographical area is from approximately Rochester, North to Garrison on Millacs Lake, West to the South Dakota boarder, East to the Wisconsin boarder.