Labor / Unions

Dr. D. Scott Molloy Jr.

Scott was born on August 17, 1946 into an Irish-Catholic, blue-collar family from the Reservoir Triangle neighborhood of Providence that had close ties to organized labor. His working-class background and his Irish ethnicity exerted profound influences upon his career and his achievements. Scott eventually became a labor leader and Rhode Island’s foremost labor historian as …

Dr. D. Scott Molloy Jr. Read More »

Seth Luther

  Luther, Seth, 1795-1863 Seth Luther was the most memorable figure in the pioneering days of the Rhode Island labor movement.  When he died in 1863, a Providence Journal obituary said that the “had considerable talent for both writing and speaking, but he was too violent, willful and headstrong to accomplish any good.” The editors …

Seth Luther Read More »

Edward J. McElroy

Edward J. McElroy, a former social studies teacher in Warwick, rose through union ranks to become national president of the 1.3 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFL). Ed started his labor career in the 1960s lobbying for passage of the Michaelson Act, which provided Rhode Island educators with the right to collective bargaining. He …

Edward J. McElroy Read More »

Daniel F. Longstreet

Daniel F. Longstreet (1850-1937) was a Gilded Age pioneer in labor-management-customer relations on the Providence street railway system. He later invented improvements for streetcars and helped to establish some of the national managerial organizations in the public transit industry. Longstreet participated in the Civil War by joining the Fourth Rhode Island Infantry at age 15 …

Daniel F. Longstreet Read More »

James P. Riley

James P. Riley was born in New Britain, Connecticut in 1950. He began his long career in the labor movement as a butcher for Stop & Shop in the 1970s. In 1984, Jim left his meat cutting career for a position as an organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). This …

James P. Riley Read More »

Arthur A. Coia Esq.

Arthur A. Coia was born on March 21,1943 in the Italian section of Charles Street, Providence, Rhode Island graduating from LaSalle Academy, Providence College, and Boston University Law School. He is a founding partner with over 40 years of experience in the New England-based law firm of Coia and Lepore, LTD. specializing in labor law, labor …

Arthur A. Coia Esq. Read More »

Thomas Carney

Thomas Carney, 1927-2016, was the legendary hero of the highways known as “Blue Max”. He is credited with saving countless lives and helping hundreds of accident victims in his 28 years as a big rig, nationwide truckdriver. He has been called “the truckdriver’s greatest hero”. After retiring and living in Seekonk, MA, he was honored …

Thomas Carney Read More »

George H. Nee

  George Nee has been a leader of the Rhode Island labor movement for 35 years and currently serves as president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.   Nee’s dedication to organized labor and civil rights began in earnest when he was inspired to leave Boston College in 1969 to help organize the grape boycott for …

George H. Nee Read More »

John F McBurney Jr

John F. McBumey, Jr., a member of Americas “Greatest Generation,” compiled a remarkable career as a highly- decorated war hero, collegiate and professional baseball star, teacher, influential state senator from Pawtucket, and prominent trial attorney. John was born in Pawtucket in 1925 and raised in nearby Attleboro. After his graduation from Attleboro High School in …

John F McBurney Jr Read More »

Lawrence N. Spitz

Lawrence Spitz of Sun City, Arizona, formerly of Providence and Woonsocket was a pioneer labor leader who was a strong advocate for the workingman. He became one of the State’s most effective iconoclasts, drafting its first labor relations act, and helping to gain major legislation for fair housing and worker representation at Blue Cross.

Scroll to Top