Labor celebrates Michael Carrigan on his retirement as president of the Illinois AFL-CIO

Tim Drea named new president of state federation

SURROUNDED BY HIS STAFF, retiring Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan (third from left) with (from left) Officers’ Assistant Terri Payne, newly-elected President Tim Drea, (Carrigan), Resource Director Amy Rueff, office professional Pam Waldeck and Campaign Manager Bill Looby. – Illinois AFL-CIO photo

Burr Ridge, IL – Hundreds of friends, family, union leaders, union members and public officials celebrated the retirement of Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan Dec. 4 at the Federation’s headquarters in Burr Ridge near Chicago.

Carrigan retired after 19 years with the Illinois AFL-CIO, the last 12 as president.

Speakers at the celebration included AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. They focused on Carrigan’s achievements in moving the Labor Movement forward during both calm and difficult times. The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band also performed.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Chicago) entered this statement into the Congressional Record on Nov. 21: “Mike Carrigan is a fierce champion of the Labor Movement and a fighter for worker’s rights, and his leadership will be remembered and missed. On a personal note, I have appreciated his advice and counsel, his friendship and support and his steady leadership on behalf of Illinois workers and their families. Congratulations to Mike on your retirement and thank you for your years of service!”

Carrigan was elected president on Feb. 28, 2007. He previously served seven years as secretary–treasurer.

Carrigan started his career as a journeyman wireman in Decatur in IBEW Local 146 starting in 1978. He became the union local’s assistant business manager in 1990 and its business manager/financial secretary in 1992, serving in that post until to 2000, when he became secretary–treasurer of the state federation.

ATTORNEY JOEL D’ALBA swears-in Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea (center)and Secretary-Treasurer Pay Devaney on Dec. 5, 2019. – Illinois AFL-CIO photo

The Illinois AFL-CIO Executive Board has elected Tim Drea as the new president of the 855,000-member organization, and he will fill out the remainder of Carrigan’s term. Drea has been the secretary-treasurer of the Federation for 12 years.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, one of the leading Labor organizations in the nation,” Drea said. “I thank Michael Carrigan for his years of service as president, and I am excited to continue to represent union members in protecting their rights, working conditions and safety on the job.

“The Labor Movement in Illinois is diverse and united in the common goal of making Illinois a better place for all working families.”

MICHAEL CARRIGAN, retiring retired president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, is greeted by the Federation’s longest-tenured vice president, Ron Powell of the UFCW. – Illinois AFL-CIO photo

A Marine Corps veteran, Drea grew up in Taylorville, where he was a member of the United Mine Workers. After being laid-off due to a depressed coal market, Drea went to Lincoln Land Community College and what is now the University of Illinois Springfield, earning a degree in political studies.

He worked on the Illinois Senate Democratic staff for five years and in 1996 became legislative and political director of Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

Carrigan had predicted in August that Drea would be his successor, saying Drea has “been right there in all the issues and all the battles.”

The Executive Board also elected Pat Devaney, president of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI) since 2008, to fill Drea’s unexpired term as secretary-treasurer. Devaney started his career as a fire fighter in Champaign with International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1260.

“It is important to continue the mission and important work the Illinois AFL-CIO has been doing,” Devaney said. “The everyday challenges facing working families aren’t going away, and Labor’s enemies aren’t standing down. This organization is critical to advancing the cause of working families in our state.”


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