The Jamestown AFL-CIO Area Central Labor Council recognized IBEW 106 Membership Development Organizer Michael Haines with the George Ritzer Memorial Labor Award. Local union leaders and elected officials gathered for a ceremony at the Northwest Arena Tuesday in lieu of the traditional ceremony at the Labor Day Fest, which has been canceled the last two years.
Jamestown AFL-CIO Central Labor Council President Dave Wilkinson said Haines has done extraordinary work, “Organizing, like I said, is a difficult task. You get told ‘No’ and you get the door slammed in your face, everybody is on you all the time, ‘What are you gonna do about this.’ And he stands in the gap, like Mr. [Dave] Painter liked to say to me all the time. You stand in the gap because we need you. And he’s changed the lives of many.”
Haines has been employed at IBEW 106 for the last 10 years. Prior to that he had been part of a union when he played for the Jamestown Expos, a steward at Purina, and a volunteer for community activities like the Jamestown Labor Day Festival.
Named in honor of George Ritzer, who served as president of the Labor Council for over 20 years, the Ritzer award is given to an individual who volunteers and contributes toward the labor movement, and volunteers time to community organizations.