Convention Resolution

Resolution 48: Memorial Tribute to Harrison A. "Pete" Williams Jr.

Memorial Tribute To Harrison A. “Pete” Williams, Jr.

WHEREAS, Working men and women of the United States lost a true friend last month with the death of former United States Senator Harrison A. “Pete” Williams, Jr.; and,

WHEREAS, All of organized labor lost a true champion with the passing of Pete Williams; and,

WHEREAS, Pete Williams quietly labored on behalf of all workers for twentythree years in the United States Senate; and,

WHEREAS, Pete Williams established and chaired the Senate Migratory Labor Subcommittee and, in that role, focused the nation’s attention on the plight of America’s farm workers before the nation had been awakened to the severe deprivation under which farm worker families toiled in the migratory system; and,

WHEREAS, Pete Williams, through his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Aging, championed the needs of America’s senior citizens; and,

WHEREAS, Pete Williams as chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare and its Labor Subcommittee was responsible for sponsoring and enacting worker legislation benefiting workers and their families in every aspect of their lives through a most remarkable agenda of successful pro-worker legislation; and,

WHEREAS, Pete Williams quietly, steadfastly and successfully toiled on behalf of minimum wage and overtime protection for household service workers, on the one hand, and public employees on the other; and,

WHEREAS, Pete Williams led the successful effort to overcome the last civil rights filibuster in order to secure equal employment opportunity for public employees; and,

WHEREAS, Pete Williams labored mightily and successfully to secure safer and healthier working conditions for those in our most dangerous occupations— construction and mining—and then on behalf of all American workers through the Occupational Safety and Health Act—a law which still bears his name; and,

WHEREAS, Pete Williams invested all of his legislative energies, with Democratic and Republican colleagues in the United States Senate, to fashion and enact the comprehensive Employee Retirement Income Security Act to protect the hard earned retirement benefits of American workers in all industries; and,

WHEREAS, This champion of the collective bargaining rights of American workers amassed the most enviable public record of worker protection without seeking personal glory or recognition; now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the AFL-CIO, on behalf of all American workers and their families, pay the highest tribute to a labor champion in his time of passing; and be it further

RESOLVED that the AFL-CIO express its deepest sorrow in the passing of its friend and shares with his wife Jeannette, who toiled by his side, and his children the deep sense of loss the trade union movement feels during their time of grief.