Fearless Five: Irish Labor Leaders Named ahead of New York Awards Gala
Over 200 union members from across the US will gather in New York on Friday, September 13th for the ninth annual Irish Labor Awards with guest speakers including Gerry Adams T.D. and LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan.
And now the Irish Echo can reveal the names of the first five labor honorees to be honored at the sold-out event at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel on Lexington Avenue.
Bridget Hughes, leader of the successful Fight for $15 movement in Kansas City, MO. (See full story online.)
David O’Laughlin of Methuen, MA, who is Business Agent at electricians union IBEW Local 103 in Boston. David is a strong advocate of embracing new technologies. “Labor unions must be open to adapting to the changing landscape of construction and embrace the new technology that is available including social media,” he says. “At the same time, we must not forget to fight for a living wage for those entering the workforce.”
Donna McGuire, Assistant Principal at PS/IS 18 – The Park Terrace School in Washington Heights, NYC. “Unions protect the workers, provide them training, and give them a way to voice their concerns about working conditions and compensation,” she says. “”Without the power or presence of unions, the economy would feel the ripple effect and communities would suffer.” McGuire is a member of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA), Local 1 – American Federation of School Administrators.
Thomas Carey, Business Representative for United Association of Plumbers & Steamfitters HVACR Local 21. A native of Peekskill, NY, Carey hails from a large union family — his grandfather, dad, uncle and brother have well over 125 years of service between them as Steamfitters out of the orginal Local 543 in Yonkers. His advice for those starting out as apprentices: “Take every learning opportunity. Pick you passion whether it be electrical, mechanical, carpenter, laborer, painter etc then take it to the next level. Why not be the guy or gal reading the plans and laying out the project?”
Brian Sullivan of Lynbrook, NY, is President of the Nassau County Correction Officers Benevolent Association and Lieutenant Nassau County Sheriff’s Department Division of Corrections. A 31-year veteran of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, Sullivan has worked in every capacity and within every unit within the Department including the High Risk, High Profile Housing Unit. “Correction officers wear many hats in their jobs, from an authority figure, to a therapist, to a priest, all while working completely unarmed and outnumbered inside a facility that could house the worst our society has to offer,” he says. “Representing those who work in Corrections is an extremely rewarding yet frustrating occupation but those who work and thrive in this environment are the ones who deserve all the credit for their dedication to public safety and the essential service they provide to the people of Nassau County.”
Sponsored by LIUNA and hosted by the Irish Echo newspaper, the annual Irish Labor awards in New York's Doubletree by Hilton on Lexington Avenue will be addressed by LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan and former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams T.D. - who will be making his first visit to the US in 2019 to be at the event. Chief honoree on the evening will be Philadelphia native Sean McGarvey, President of NABTU, North America's Building Trade Unions.
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