DeForest, WI – After 48 years as a member of LIUNA, Wisconsin Labourers’ District Council President/Business Director John Schmitt has announced his retirement effective September 1, 2022.
John began his career in 1974 as a worker at the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee as a member of LIUNA Local 113. He became a business representative and member of the local’s executive board in 1997 and was later elected business director for Local 113 in 2000. In 2010, he was elected president/business director by delegates from the Wisconsin Labourers’ District Council .
Mr. Schmitt’s tenure as president/business director came during a tumultuous time for the Wisconsin labor movement, which has seen the repeal of state wage laws, the banning of labor agreements on public works projects and the enactment of the so-called “Right-to-Work.” Despite these attacks on Wisconsin workers, the Wisconsin Labourers’ District Council, under John’s leadership, continued to grow both in number of members and market share.
John led collective bargaining with employer-contractor partners on various contracts that were mutually beneficial to workers and management. As Trustee of the Health and Retirement Funds, John was responsible for helping to grow and strengthen these funds for workers past, present and future.
Other leadership positions include co-chair of the Wisconsin Labourers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET), Wisconsin Labourers’ Apprenticeship & Training Fund, and chair of the Construction Craft Labourers’ State Apprenticeship Committee. John also serves on the Governor’s Transportation Stakeholder Task Force and the Boards of the State of Wisconsin AFL-CIO and Transportation Development Association.
Other leadership highlights for John were doubling the size of the Wisconsin Labor Training Center in DeForest, as well as helping elect Labor-endorsed candidates, including Governor Tony Evers in 2018 and President Joe Biden in 2020.
A photo of John Schmitt can be found here.
The Wisconsin Labor District Council is an affiliate of five local labor unions, representing nearly 9,000 construction tradespeople throughout Wisconsin. Laborers are the most diverse occupation in the construction industry serving employers in transportation infrastructure, construction, sewer and water, utility distribution, demolition, asbestos abatement and related sectors .