Industry Remembers Former Chicago Glazier's Union Head
February 14, 2011
Bernard J. "Bernie" Spatz, 72, of Orland Park, Ill., a 50-year life member of Glaziers Union Local 27, as well as its past president and business manager, passed away last week. He was the retired secretary/treasurer of the Chicago & Cook County Building Trade Council and past president of the International Conference of Glaziers & Glassworkers, as well as a past chairman of the building trades department AFL-CIO for Cook County DAD's Day (Dollars Against Diabetes Drive).
Spatz was married 49 years to Janet, and was father of five children.
Having spent numerous years involved with the Chicago glazing industry, Spatz was also well-known among many of the area’s glass businesses.
Al Shapiro, president of Pittco Architectural Metals Inc. in Elk Grove Village, said he had worked with Spatz over the course of more than 20 years and says Spatz was well thought of in the industry.
“He cared about his men and he was a hard negotiator,” remembers Shapiro. “He fought hard to hold onto the work that glaziers had and he would go up against other unions that tried to poach the work he thought should be the glaziers.”
"We were on opposite sides of the issues many times and we had our moments, but he was a really fair-minded and I had a lot of respect for him," adds Lyle R. Hill, president of MTH Industries in Hillside, Ill.
Abe Asllani, president and owner of Chicago-based Midwest Contract Glazing Inc., says having been in the industry himself for 23 years, Spatz was leaving the industry around the time he was getting started, so he never actually knew him.
"But for me he was a legend," says Asllani. "His was just one of those names you’d always hear."
Funeral services were held this morning at the Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home in Orland Park. Memorials may be made to Angelman Syndrome Foundation, 4255 Westbrook Drive, Suite 219, Aurora, IL 60504 or DAD'S Day (Dollars Against Diabetes) c/o Chicago Building Trade, 150 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1850, Chicago, IL 60606
Click here to read his full obituary from the Chicago Tribune.