AFL-CIO HITWIRE Article Chronicles The Life And Many Contributions Of AFL-CIO President Emeritus John J. Sweeney

Sweeney to Receive Meany-Kirkland Worker Rights Lifetime Achievement Award

Jul 28, 2014, 11:07 ET from AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The AFL-CIO HITWIRE today released a story on John J. Sweeney, President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO and currently chairman of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust.  The article details Sweeney's five decades in the labor movement, including his battles to secure a living wage for janitors and other service workers, and fights on behalf of minorities and women in the workplace.  That long and accomplished career will be recognized July 30 at a reception at the AFL-CIO.

Regarding Mr. Sweeney, the article states, "He built alliances with the nation's most powerful public officials, including Presidents and members of Congress.  He vigorously defended union rights against formidable anti-union factions. He weathered the ups and downs of the labor movement during periods of growth and decline."

The article can be found on HITWIRE at and is available to be downloaded and reprinted free of charge.   The article states that through all the battles, Sweeney "remained consistent in his convictions and principled in his stands – a stalwart 'union man.'"

Sweeney will be honored for advancing social and economic justice on July 30 at a reception hosted by the AFL-CIO, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT), and the American Labor community at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington. The AFL-CIO will pay tribute to Sweeney's "lifelong advocacy for working Americans" by presenting him with the George Meany–Lane Kirkland Lifetime Achievement Award for Global Workers' Rights, named after the first two presidents of the AFL-CIO. Proceeds from the event will help endow the John J. Sweeney Scholarship at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. The university will also recognize Sweeney at the event with the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) Global Peace and Social Justice Award for his advocacy for peace and justice.

In the HITWIRE article, Sweeney comments on his career.  "Sure there were days when we were in tough fights over collective bargaining or strikes, but I always looked forward to going to work and got great satisfaction helping workers improve their lives," he says.

Steve Coyle, CEO of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT), says in the article, "John Sweeney has had a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of American workers. He has vigorously fought for what is right in America, as well as around the globe. His work and contributions will continue to shape the American workforce decades into the future."  Sweeney chairs the board of the HIT. 

HITWIRE is produced by the HIT, a $4.8 billion fixed-income investment company that has put the pension capital from union members to work in local communities for nearly 50 years.  To learn more about the HIT, please visit  HITWIRE is a news service that documents the stories of union men and women helping to revive communities across the nation. It also tells the stories of communities and residents whose quality of life has been enhanced by projects built with union pension funds and union labor.

Media Contact:
Michael K. Frisby

SOURCE AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust