We wish to acknowledge more than 55 years of service and diverse contributions to the labor movement of a true trade unionist and visionary leader—Michael Goodwin. Goodwin has constantly and creatively found ways to organize in both traditional and nontraditional industries, growing OPEIU during his 21 years as international president from 80,000 to more than 103,000 members. He has been a great asset to the members of OPEIU, the American labor movement and working people everywhere.
Goodwin has introduced the concept of providing membership benefits, paid for directly out of the union treasury, as a means to provide more for existing members and to attract new members.
As a member of the Executive Council, Goodwin served as vice chair of the Civil and Human Rights Committee and made important contributions to the committees on health and safety, ethical practices, legislation and policy, women workers and special assignments relating to Article XX and XXI, among others.
Goodwin was first elected secretary-treasurer of Local 153 nearly four decades ago, in 1977. Two years later, he began serving as an international vice president and in 1994 was elected international president of OPEIU. In 1995, he was elected to the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO and served for more than 20 years.
He was the 1994 recipient of OPEIU’s Henderson B. Douglas Memorial Award, the union’s highest award for organizing, and the Paul Hall Award of Merit, honoring him for his important contributions to the development of the labor movement, the maritime industry and the port of New York.
In 1995, Goodwin received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, awarded to outstanding American citizens who have distinguished themselves as members of a specific ethnic group.
He continues to serve as president of the American Labor Museum and as a director of the AFL-CIO’s Union Privilege Program. He also serves as secretary-treasurer of the New York Hotel Trades Council and as a vice president of the New York State AFL-CIO and the New York City Central Labor Council.
Goodwin also will continue to serve the labor movement as business manager of OPEIU Local 153 in New York, to complete his three-year term ending in September 2018.
The Executive Council thanks Michael Goodwin for his service and looks forward to continuing to work with him in his new role at Local 153.