President Trumka, AFL-CO, receives Labor Leadership Award

Posted By: June 20, 2018

World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership


Fr. Sean McManus. President Richard L. Trumka, AFL-CIO, and Barbara Flaherty
 CAPITOL HILL. Tuesday, June 19, 2018——The leader of the 12.5 million Labor coalition was awarded a top peace prize today in Washington, DC.

The Award, World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership, was presented on Tuesday to the president of the massive AFL-CIO, Richard L. Trumka at his national headquarters in Washington, DC.

President Trumka is the inaugural recipient of this new Award established on February 4, 2018, by the World Peace Prize Awarding Council, a 14-member panel of international and interfaith judges, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Its Washington, DC office is led by Fr. Sean
Mc Manus, Chief Judge, and Barbara Flaherty, Judge and Corporate Manager—both also lead the Irish National Caucus.

The Founder/Leader of the World Peace Prize, Presbyterian Minister, Rev. Dr. Han Min Su explained: “We are pleased that our International and Interfaith Board has unanimously agreed to endorse the proposal of our Washington Office to institute the World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership. We see the worldwide Labor/Union Movement as one of the major pillars of world peace because we deeply believe that if you want peace, you must strive for justice—including the justice of a living wage for working men and women.”
The award ceremony in the AFL-CIO headquarters was chaired by Barbara Flaherty.
Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones opened the event with two Labor songs, Joe Hill and James Connolly.
The address on behalf of the World Peace Prize Awarding Council was given by Fr. McManus, who said:”When Barbara Flaherty and I joined the Board in 2013, we wanted

to make a signature contribution: to prominently, firmly, front and center, establish that peace is the fruit of justice— that working for peace means working for social justice. Without justice, there is no love. You cannot love God or your neighbor without justice.
Let me share with you three quotes on social justice, which some of you will be familiar with:

1. The first is from the American Protestant Biblical scholar, Walter Brueggemann: ” In Biblical faith, the doing of justice is the primary expectation of God.”… “In Biblical faith, the doing of justice is the primary expectation of God.”
2. The second is from the Prophet Micah: ” This is what God asks of you: only this, to do justice,
to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.”
3. The third is by the Bishops of the Catholic Church meeting in Rome in 1971 :
” … Action on behalf of justice [is] a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel…” The word constitutive means: that without which something will not stand… So, without justice, the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not stand… Without justice, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the New Testament DO NOT STAND.

Now can anything be more basic and clear than these three quotes? All religions can agree with those three quotes: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc. … Not only that, but people of no faith and no religion can agree with these three quotes. All people of good will, all fair-minded people, recognize that without justice, civilized society cannot stand.

People of faith can be certain that working for justice is doing God’s work on earth. And people of no faith can be certain that working for justice is doing the decent and loving thing. And all of us can be certain that anything that does injustice —anything that marginalizes, demeans, devalues and disrespects human beings— cannot be God’s work, or cannot be the decent and loving thing to do

… If one looks around America for men and women who are spending their entire lives working for social justice—and justice for working men and women— what group comes to mind immediately? Yes, indeed, the American Labor Movement… And that is why President Trumka was given the World Peace Prize in 2016…And why he is now also receiving the brand-new Prize: the World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership.

Our World Peace Prizes place social justice front and center. Our Peace Prizes encourages members of the Labor Movement to positively think of themselves as not just fighters for justice but as peace builders as well. Our World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership, in particular, makes the connection between Labor and peace. I believe this gives an important dimension to Labor’s self-understanding, self-image, and self-identity. And, President Trumka, and the other Labor leaders here, I urge you to claim this identity, embrace it, and promote it among the AFL-CIO. It is a powerful way to advance Labor and promote solidarity.”

When he accepted the World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership, President Trumka greatly welcomed Fr. McManus’ strong linkage of justice and peace and expressed deep appreciation for the Award. He promised the assembled guests that he and his AFL-CIO would continue the struggle for justice and peace, nationally and globally—needed now, as much as ever before.

Dr.Han, who was unable to attend, in his message from Seoul, said:”I want to give my personal and corporate congratulations to President Trumka for being the inaugural and most worthy recipient of the World Peace Prize for Labor leadership. There is no better choice for this award. Fr. McManus and Barbara Flaherty have told me very many wonderful things about His Honor, President Trumka. So, I know that in honoring him, he in turn, honors us by accepting our World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership.”