Pope Francis Invites International President Harold Daggett to Send ILA Delegation to Rome in Early January to Receive Papal Blessings for ILA Members and Their Families
NORTH BERGEN, N.J. – (December 15, 2023). ILA President Harold J. Daggett has been invited by Pope Francis, the Head of the Catholic Church, to send a delegation of ILA leaders to meet with the Holy Father at the Vatican in Rome. Pope Francis extended this invitation to dockworker leaders globally to meet with him in early January 2204, and the Holy Father will use the gathering to offer Papal blessings for all dockworkers around the world.
“I am deeply honored that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has honored me and the ILA with this invitation to meet with him and receive blessings for ILA members and their families,” said ILA President Harold J. Daggett. “Pope Francis has indicated that his blessings will extend to those waterfront longshore unions like ours that we may negotiate a great contract for our members.”
ILA President Daggett will send Dennis Daggett, ILA Executive Vice President; John Daggett, Atlantic Coast District General Vice President; Kenneth Oelkers, ILA Education Director and Jordi Aragunde, General Coordinator of the International Dockworkers’ Council to meet with the Holy Father and receive the Papal Blessings.
“Pope Francis has great love and respect for workers around the world, and he is especially fond of longshore workers,” said President Daggett. “As a young man growing up in Argentina, Pope Francis worked as a janitor before beginning his educational training as a chemist and later devoting his life to the priesthood.”
The ILA leader said the Pope’s invitation to all dockworker leaders from around the world speak volumes to the respect he has for them and the work they do representing waterfront workers.
“To offer prayers for our ILA members and their families and blessings that we negotiate a good contract for them is truly a wonderful Christmas gift to our union and its members,” said President Daggett. “We thank His Holiness, Pope Francis, for recognizing the value and contributions of dockworkers in America and around the world.”