Retired Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis honored by Ancient Order of Hibernians


MIKE LOUIS, retired president of the Missouri AFL-CIO (center) receives the Labor Leader of the Year Award from program master-of-ceremonies Tom Wahl (left) and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562’s Zach Lange. – Labor Tribune photo

Mike Louis, retired president of the Missouri AFL-CIO who spearheaded the fight to defeat so-called “right-to-work” in 2018, was honored March 9 by the St. Louis Chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) – the oldest and largest Irish Catholic lay organization in America.

The 21st Anniversary “Hoses, Handcuffs and Hard Hats” Judge James Dailey Wahl Memorial gala  honored seven St. Louis City and County police officers, fire fighters, public safety personnel, civic and Labor leaders and named Louis Labor Leader of the Year for his long history with Machinists District 9 and the AFL-CIO.

The annual event is dedicated to fire fighters, law enforcement officers, public safety personnel and union members killed in the line of duty since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America.

PROUD UNION FAMILY: Jeff Louis, Laborers Local 42 field representative and organizer (left), congratulates his dad, Mike Louis, on his recognition as Labor Leader of the Year by the Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Louis Chapter. – Labor Tribune photo

“I’m just so proud to be honored by this group of outstanding community service people who do so much for the City of St. Louis,” Louis said. “I’m proud of my Irish heritage, and I’m proud of my family. I’m especially proud of my mother and father who brought me up to believe if everybody makes a good living and everybody has healthcare this country will survive. I was taught that and I hope everybody believes that. That’s what our unions fight for, and that’s why they have to survive.”

CONGRATULATING Mike Louis (right), former president of the AFL-CIO on his recognition as the Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Louis Chapter’s Labor Leader of the year were (from left) IBEW Local 1 Business Representatives Chris Clermont, Business Representative Steve Muehling, Local 1 President Jim Reinheimer, Jr., Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs and Gas Workers Local 11-6 Business Representative Mark Ell. – Labor Tribune photo

The master of ceremonies was Tom Wahl, son of Judge Wahl, the highly respected pro-Labor lawyer and St. Louis Municipal judge who died in 2016 after a battle with leukemia.

The program also included a display of Irish dancing by the youngsters of the Meghan Torno School of Irish Dance, and an emotional, moving rendition of “O Danny Boy” by NFL Hall of Famer Jackie Smith, who played for the St. Louis football Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys and a performance by Irish musicians John Bolduan, Robert Ryan and Jennifer Kelly.

This year’s event was held at Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 Hall in St. Louis.

City Police Officer of the Year – Officer David Zweilling
County Police Officer of the Year – Sgt. Stephanie Powers

City Fire Fighter of the Year – Ken Weiss
County Fire Fighter of the Year – Andrew Shoop

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) Lisa Cassidy, Karen O’Neill and Alyssa Forsyth received special recognition for their quick response when an individual in the crowd at last year’s AOH St. Patrick’s Day parade went into cardiac arrest.

Civic Leader of the Year – St. Louis Hero Network, a non-profit that supports local first responders and military families by promoting their businesses. It also supports BackStoppers, Respond Rescue, St. Louis FD, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Budweiser’s Guns n’ Hoses.

Also honored was centenarian Julie Colombo, grand marshal of this year’s AOH St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This year’s parade will be held of March 17, starting at 11 a.m., in Dogtown.


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