125 Years of Solidarity in Wilkes-Barre

On a rainy Fall day in 1894, union members huddled under the South Street Bridge in Wilkes-Barre PA, and founded the Greater Wilkes Barre Central Labor Council was founded. This Saturday, September 28, 125 years to the day, labor unions and the NEPA community will come together to celebrate 125 years of solidarity. The occasion also marks 120 years of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Building Trades Council.

“I’ve been a member of this CLC for close to 25 years. I am deeply honored to serve as its President today,” said Greater Wilkes-Barre Central Labor Council President Joe Padavan (USW). “The battle we have on our hands today in America, can only be won through solidarity. I am so proud of our unions coming together, fighting for our future and honoring our past.”

This Saturday’s program will honor a founding member of the Central Labor Council, John J. Casey. Casey was a union organizer who came of age as a breaker boy in the anthracite coal mines in the 1880s and 1890s. A passionate unionist, Casey went on to serve in the United States Congress, and was successfully elected to six terms. An avowed “labor man” and public servant, the Greater Wilkes-Barre CLC will honor his role in the Council’s founding.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is proud to congratulate the Greater Wilkes-Barre Central Labor Council, President Joe Padavan, and all the union sisters and brothers of the CLC.