12 February 2010

Origin of the Meatcutter's Medical Clinic

project: Meat Cutter's Medical Clinic.
architect: Harris Armstrong.
date: 1957.
location: 4488 Forest Park Boulevard, Saint Louis, Missouri.
condition: good condition, somewhat modified.

In Saint Louis, the International Amalgamated Meatcutters' Union organized Local 88 in January 1897. Eventually this union became one of the most forward thinking such groups in the United States by creating facilities for the health and welfare of their members.

From a website posted by a president for the organization:
Local 88 was the first labor union in the United States to negotiate "Preventative Health Care" for it's members. In 1958 the "Medical Institute of Local 88" opened its' doors, thanks to its' visionary President and leader, Colonel Nicholas Blassie.

This state of the art medical facility (part of the Local 88 Health and Welfare Trust Fund) offered full-service medical, dental, vision and pharmaceutical services to all Local 88 members.

The Health and Welfare Fund received regular contributions from the companies it represented, thus union members received most services free-of-charge. Many other labor unions, primarily the Teamsters, soon copied this model of health care for their members.

Color photographs by Andrew Raimist, October 2006.

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