Labor Man of the Year Pat Dolan: ‘The labor unions are the ones that create… the opportunity to move forward’

PORT COUNCIL HONOREES, along with Greater St. Louis Area Port Council officers were (from left) Port Council President and Operating Engineers Local 513 retiree Jack Martorelli, Labor Man of the Year Sprinkler Fitters Local 268 President and Missouri AFL-CIO Apprentice Coordinator Pat Dolan, Able Helmsman St. Louis City Collector of Revenue Gregory F.X. Daly, Management Man of the Year World Wide Technologies CEO Jim Kavanaugh and Port Council Vice President and Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council John Stiffler. – Labor Tribune photo

Port Council golf tournament, awards dinner recognizes Labor, business, civic leaders



Chesterfield, MO – “My father was a Sprinkler Fitter and worked at the track – worked two jobs,” said Pat Dolan, the Greater St. Louis Area Port Council’s 2017 Dick Mantia Labor Man of the Year.

“We were fortunate to have somebody willing to work so hard and provide for us,” Dolan said. “But the reason we were provided for was because of the labor union we were in with Sprinkler Fitters Local 268. We didn’t live an elaborate life but we all had good educations and benefits our whole lives and I was lucky enough to get in there.”

Dolan started work as a sprinkler fitter in 1973, entered the Local 268 apprenticeship program in 1974 and became a journeyman in 1978.

He quickly rose through the ranks of the union, becoming its youngest elected office holder in 1980 and remaining in office in different elected positions until 2007, when he was elected president, a position he continues to hold despite retiring as a supervisor at United Fire Protection Systems in 2015.

In 2014, Dolan joined the Missouri AFL-CIO as the apprentice coordinator, helping to start and continuing to manage the highly successful pre-apprentice Building Union Diversity (BUD) program, which provides a pathway for minorities and women to enter the building trades.

Today, Dolan is managing the Missouri AFL-CIO’s and Machinists District 9’s burgeoning Industrial Manufacturing Technician pre-apprenticeship program

Dolan is serving his second term on the St. Louis County Council, representing the Fifth District and previously served on the Richmond Heights City Council.

He is also a member of the BackStoppers’ Guns and Hoses Committee, a board member of the St. Louis County Drug Task Force, vice president of the St. Louis County Police Athletic League, president of the Board of Directors of the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform & Recovery, and serves on the advisory board of Commercial Bank and as a volunteer with the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association and other civic groups.

“It is an honor to be recognized by your peers,” Dolan said at the awards dinner at the Landings at Spirit Golf Club.

“The guys before me, I was fortunate enough to see the struggles that they went through for us to have what we had, and now it’s time to pass that on to the next generation,” Dolan said. “Though I don’t know that they take it as well.

“It seems like we have a hard time getting the younger people more involved,” he said. “As you look around this room, it’s the people we see at all these events. We’re trying hard to get the young people involved in the trades and all the different unions, with all the unions.

“The labor unions are always the ones that step up and lead the way and try to help people out. We don’t get credit for that, but that’s what we do,” Dolan said. “Everybody has the opportunity to move forward. The labor unions are the ones that create that.

“We don’t do it to get the credit, we do it because we know it’s the right thing to do. I’m very fortunate to have been part of that.”


Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of the $9.3 billion World Wide Technology, was named the Port Council’s Management Man of the Year.

Employing 4,000 people, World Wide Technology is a market-leading provider of advanced technology solutions for businesses, named to Glassdoor’s 2017 Best Places to Work list and Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for and Best Workplaces for Women, among numerous other awards.

As the company’s co-founder and CEO, Kavanaugh has grown World Wide from a small start-up technology company into a world class technology organization. The company recently completed a new union-built world headquarters building in Maryland Heights.

Kavanaugh is the son of a union bricklayer. His brother is a union sprinkler fitter.

Kavanaugh served as president of the board of the St. Patrick Center, which provides homeless services to Missourians. He is also a trustee of the board for St. Louis University, chairman and founder of St. Louis FC soccer team, chairman of Scott Gallagher Soccer Club and an investor/owner of the St. Louis Blues.

He also supports many local and nationwide charities, including as the ALS Association, which funds research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease; St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research; the American Cancer Society, Toys for Tots, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, Junior Achievement and the United Way.

Kavanaugh was also involved in the effort to bring a professional soccer team and stadium to St. Louis.

“When I look at where I am today, it has so much to do with the unions,” Kavanaugh said.

“When I look at where we are from a World Wide Technology perspective, it is due to all the great people that we have at World Wide. My success is due to our employees. We have great employees because we know the most valuable resource, and I know the most valuable resource, that we have at World Wide is our employees.

“I have learned that from the leaders like my dad and the rest of the leaders from the unions that you guys value your members, and you go out of your way to support your members to make sure they’re taken care of and are paid fairly,” Kavanaugh said. “And that’s absolutely what we need to do as we move forward, whether you’re running a business or you’re running a union, it’s all about your people.”


St. Louis Collector of Revenue Gregory F.X. Daly, was the recipient of this year’s Able Helmsman Award. In the maritime lingo of the Port Council, the Able Helmsman is the person who guides the ship and puts it on its true course.

Daly has spent more than 30 years serving the people of the City of St. Louis in various city staff elected positions as well as in various civic and charitable organizations.

Daly was elected as collector of revenue in 2006, after having served as license collector for the city since 1988, steadfastly respecting taxpayers and the dollars they provide for city services.

He has led the implementation of many service enhancements, offering conveniences to make working with the collector’s office easier for taxpayers, and has earned a reputation for reducing bureaucracy and increasing efficiencies within the office by streamlining processes and cross-training employees.

He serves on the board of Heat Up/Cool Down St. Louis and was recently elected committeeman for the 12th Ward Regular Democratic Organization.

Daly worked as policy agent for three aldermanic presidents including Thomas Zych, Tom Villla and Francis Slay.

In addition, Daly has owned and operated several small businesses, including the teen and family destination Highland Miniature Golf in South St. Louis.

In his acceptance speech, Daly focused on the greatest challenge facing the Labor Movement in Missouri in recent years – “right-to-work.”

Through the concerted effort of union members and working family volunteers who collected more than 310,000 petition signatures, implementation of Missouri’s anti-union, anti-worker “right-to-work” law has been suspended pending verification of the signatures and a public vote on the issue in November 2018.

“This is just the start,” Daly said of the signature drive. “You all are the heart and soul of this movement. It’s going to be successful. And I can assure you that myself, as well as other people at City Hall, we’re all going to be with you.

“You’re only as good as the people that you associate yourself with.” Daly said. “As far as me doing a job at City Hall at the collector of revenue’s office, it’s all in my staff. I’ve got 125 people down there that do a heck of a job every day serving the constituents of the City of St. Louis.

“When it comes to winning elections and when it comes to getting out there and being able to bring your voice out and make sure your things are being heard, it starts right here,” Daly said. “Unions have been with me since Day One, and I’ll never forget that. It’s something that I treasure very much. It is really, truly an honor.”


The Greater St. Louis Area Port Council is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department, which consists of 21 port and maritime councils, along with 21 international unions representing almost five million workers in the United States and Canada.

“We promote and protect workers’ rights,” said Port Council President Jack Martorelli, a 50-year member of Operating Engineers Local 513. “We work to ensure that a rising tide lifts all boats. And we all pull together to keep the American dream alive so that American families have an opportunity for a better life.”

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DAN DUNCAN, executive secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO’s Maritime Trades Department, said Virginia defeated a constitutional amendment on so-called “right-to-work” last year, and he’s confident Missouri can defeat the anti-union, anti-worker law at the ballot box in 2018. – Labor Tribune photo

Virginia’s lesson in defeating RTW

Dan Duncan, executive secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO’s Maritime Trades Department, was a special guest at the Greater St. Louis Area Port Council’s golf tournament and awards dinner Sept. 8 and he had a special message about “right-to-work” for Missouri’s union members.

Implementation of Missouri’s anti-union, anti-worker “right-to-work” law has been suspended while the Missouri Secretary of State and local election authorities verify some 310,567 petition signatures to put the issue on the November 2018 ballot.

“I come from northern Virginia, and every day I have to pass a building that has some very ugly words on it,” Duncan said. “If they ever knew how to hire a union electrician they could light it up at night and you’d see it says National Right To Work. I give it a one finger wave every day. That’s all it deserves.

“We in Virginia have been dealing with this abomination since 1947,” Duncan said, referring to the year so-called “right-to-work” became law in the state. “We’ve had to live with it. And we are admiring, we are loving what you guys are doing here in Missouri.

“Last year, the Koch Brothers decided the fact that it was a law in Virginia since 1947 wasn’t enough, they wanted to put it in the state constitution.

“In January of 2016, polling showed we were losing 66 percent to 27 percent. Now the way Virginia law is written, you can fight a constitutional amendment, but since 1970 when the present constitution was put in place, only once in 40 tries was a constitutional amendment defeated by the people at the polls.

“Under Virginia law, we couldn’t form a PAC, we couldn’t raise money. The most we could put together statewide was $5,000 to fight it. Brothers and sisters, I’m here to tell you what you’ve already done collecting 310,000-plus signatures is what we did in Virginia.

“The Labor Movement worked with all of our allies. We got every single Democrat committee, more than 120 Democratic committees across the Old Dominion (Virginia) to come out in favor of our position to vote ‘No’ on the constitutional amendment. We couldn’t raise money, we couldn’t have ads. The Koch Brothers were all over the state with their little paid groupies. And brothers and sisters, in November 2016 we defeated a constitutional amendment 53 percent to 26 percent.

“It can be done. You’re going to defeat it. And we in Virginia are happy to give you whatever expertise we can to help you do it keep the fight going.”


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