Inductees in Labor / Unions

  1. Thomas Carney (1927-2016)

    Inducted in 1983

    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 by the City of East Providence for his work with youth and heroic acts he had performed for fire victims. Read more >

  2. Arthur A. Coia, Esq. (1943-)

    Inducted in 2009

    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 management cooperation, health care reform, finance, business analysis, and human resource management. Read more >
  3. Daniel F. Longstreet (1850-1937)

    Inducted in 2006

    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 (more than one-hundred of his wartime letters are catalogued at Brown University). Read more >

  4. Seth Luther

    Seth Luther (1795-1863)

    Inducted in 2001


    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 then added, for good measure, that he had “just closed his worse than useful life.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Read more >

  5. Edward J. McElroy (1941-)

    Inducted in 2006

    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. Read more >

  6. Dr. D. Scott Molloy, Jr.

    Inducted in 2009

    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 well as a leading authority on Rhode Island's Irish-American community. Encouraged by his parents, he put his nose to the educational grindstone graduating from Hope High School, Rhode Island College (A. Read more >
  7. George H. Nee

    Inducted in 2011


    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 the United Farm Workers of America in Dorchester, Massachusetts. After the successful conclusion of the grape boycott, which resulted in union contracts and improved working conditions for farm workers, Nee continued to work with the organization both in California and New England. In 1971, the farm workers’ union sent him to Rhode Island to coordinate a lettuce boycott. Read more >
  8. Lawrence N. Spitz (1912-2008)

    Inducted in 2000

    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. Read more >



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