Richard L. Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, was presented Tuesday with the inaugural “World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership.” The event took place at the headquarters of the AFL-CIO, in Washington, D.C., in the George Meany Conference Room.
The award was presented before a capacity audience by Fr. Sean Mc Manus and Ms. Barbara Flaherty. He is the President of the Washington, D.C.- based Irish National Caucus, and the Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize. Ms. Flaherty is the Executive V.P. of the Irish National Caucus and Corporate Manager of the World Peace Prize.
President Trumka has been the head of the national, 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO since 2009. He has been a long-time champion of social and economic justice. When he was only 33-years old, Trumka was elected the youngest president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). He looks forward to “an economy of shared prosperity for all working families.” This is part of the working class aspirations that President Trumka had carried with him from his earliest days laboring in the “mines of southwest Pennsylvania.”
To learn more about President Trumka’s career in the Labor Movement, go to: https://aflcio.org/about/
To view President Trumka’s acceptance remarks, check out https://vimeo.com/275953504
Father Mc Manus said: “President Trumka was selected for this inaugural Award for the year 2018, because of his life-long dedication to social justice and fair employment. The latter is the very foundation of peace because peace is the fruit of justice. Those who work for justice are, therefore, the real peace workers.”
He continued, “It’s easy to talk about ‘peace’ if one leaves out justice…Working for justice is not a part-time endeavor. Rather it is, instead, the work of a lifetime…Peace Prizes can too often be associated with politicians or so-called ‘Great Statesmen,’ who may have just spent a short time actually working on a peace agreement.
“So, we felt that Peace Prizes also ‘belong to people’ who spend their lives, day in and day out, working for justice…The way for the ordinary person to get a chance at basic justice is to get a decent job, with a just wage, without any discrimination for any reason.
“Fair employment is… the nexus between justice and peace… Those who spend their lives working for decent jobs with just wages are indeed the true and steadfast ‘peace builders.’ And if any American group personifies this, it is surely ‘the Labor Movement and, in particular, the AFL-CIO…’ And that is why the 2018 initial recipient of the ‘World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership’ is the Honorable Richard L. Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.
“No one more deserves this award than President Trumka. He has shown a lifetime of dedicated service to the cause of Labor. He is a most impressive leader, a very fine man, and a fearless defender of the rights of working men and women,” concluded Father McManus.
Background on the World Peace Award: According to the program from the event, “it was founded in 1989, by the Rev. Dr. Han Min Su. He is from Seoul, Korea and is a Presbyterian Minister. The World Peace Prize is not only International but also Inter-faith. The Board of Judges symbolically represent the nine major religions of the word.” To learn more about Rev. Dr. Su and this organization, go to: http://www.wppac.net
Entertainment for the ceremony was provided by Derek Warfield & the “Young Wolfe Tones.” One of the ballads they sang was in memory of the legendary labor hero, Joe Hill, entitled: “I Dreamt I saw Joe Hill Last Night.” It was written by Alfred Hayes. To learn more about Hill’s history, check out: https://aflcio.org/about/
Photos by Bill Hughes
Top Photo: Barbara Flaherty, Trumka (center) and Father Sean McManus (right)
Bill Hughes is a native of Baltimore. He’s an attorney, author, professional actor and hobbyist photographer. In his salad days, he worked on the docks as a longshoreman. Bill also played on three championship soccer teams: sandlot with Jules Morstein; high school at Calvert Hall; and college at the University of Baltimore.