SALUTING LABOR: Union leaders gathered for the 2023 Irish Echo Labor Awards in New York

WATCH: Adams Urges Nominations for Echo Labor Awards

Just seven days remain for nominations for the 14th annual Irish Echo Labor Awards in New York.

Scheduled for the Edison Hotel on 6 September, the awards will salute labor leaders from across America who have carried the torch for unions while also championing the cause of Ireland. 

Over the past decade and a half, the awards have spotlighted standout union leaders including Terry O'Sullivan of LIUNA, Robbie Hunter of the California Construction Trades Council, Lynn O'Donnell of the Federation of Teachers and Mary Kay Henry of the SEIU.

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Says Irish Echo editor Ray O'Hanlon: "The contribution of the Irish in America to the cause of labor has been nothing less than immense. Indeed, it could be argued that the American labor movement would not exist at all in its current form without the efforts of the standout Irish men and women through the years."

Gerry Adams, who this year will address attendees via video-link, has urged labor activists to turn out in strength for the annual gala. "I want to call on all our friends in the Labor movement to support the Irish Echo awards," he said, "so that we can celebrate great labor leaders who contribute so much to Ireland and to Irish labor."

The Irish occupy key positions in the U.S. labor movement. While Terry O'Sullivan has stepped down from the helm of LIUNA, John Samuelson continues to lead the the Transport Workers Union as International President and Sean M. O'Brien occupies top spot in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. 

According to recent polling, 71 per cent of Americans now approve of labor unions. This is up from 64 per cent before the pandemic and is the highest figure Gallup has recorded on this measure since 1965.