International Longshoremen’s Association Statement On Passing of AFL-CIO President Emeritus John J. Sweeney

NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (February 2, 2021) The International Longshoremen’s Association mourns the passing of John J. Sweeney, former President of the AFL-CIO and International President of the Service Employees International Union.

“John Sweeney was New York City’s gift to the American Labor movement,” said Harold J. Daggett, ILA President. “This proud son of Irish immigrants rose from humble beginnings in the Bronx to lead, first the Service Employees International union and then, the AFL-CIO, and help improve the lives of millions of American workers.

“John Sweeney was a man of great faith, who used his Irish Catholic upbringing and his studies at Iona College to demand that union members be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace; that equality of opportunity be the mission statement of the American Labor
Movement and the right to organize and be every worker’s sacred right,” continued ILA President Daggett.

“I was proud to call John Sweeney my friend, as did four ILA Presidents – Teddy Gleason, John Bowers, Richard Hughes and myself,” said President Daggett. “Both former ILA President Teddy Gleason and John Sweeney served as Grand Marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and were both leading forces in forming the Irish American Labor Coalition.

“The officers and members of the ILA extend their deepest sympathies to his wife, Maureen and the entire Sweeney family,” said ILA President Daggett.