"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN
MAAS, Mel. (Dubuque, IA- ). President, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 150A. Maas was the first Local 150A member to hold the office of president for more than two years.
Maas began his union career as a steward in 1957 and joined the union's negotiating committee in 1962. In 1965 he campaigned for the presidency of the union and came in fourth from a field of five candidates. Seeking additional experience, Maas won appointment to the executive board of the union in 1966 and was elected to the board in 1967. Between 1966 and 1971 he furthered his formal education by attending two-week sessions in labor education at Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin. He won election to the vice-presidency in 1970 and was re-elected twice.
In 1979 Maas finished first in a field of four candidates for president of Local 150A. A few days after his re-election in 1982, with 89 percent of the votes, Maas faced the challenge created when the DUBUQUE PACKING COMPANY announced the closing of its Dubuque plant.
In addition to strikes, shutdowns, and negotiations with Dubuque Packing Company's successor, FDL FOODS INC., Maas held membership on the United Food and Commercial Worker's important National Packinghouse Committee.