DES MOINES – On Saturday, May 3, over 500 unionist, friends and family gathered at Veterans Auditorium to honor retiring Senator Tom Harkin, and to make him an honorary member of the Iowa Labor Hall of Fame.
Every year the Iowa Federation of Labor (IFL) inducts a few people into the Iowa Labor Hall of Fame at the annual Iowa Federation of Labor Convention. This award is presented to men and women within the labor movement whose efforts and sacrifices have enhanced the quality of life for Iowa workers.
This year, the IFL has inducted Senator Tom Harkin, as an honorary member, at this special event.
“We are pleased to induct Senator Tom Harkin into the Iowa Labor Hall of Fame,” said IFL president Ken Sagar, “He has dedicated his life to improving the lives of working men and women not only in Iowa, but throughout the country. This honorary induction is the first time in the history of the Labor Hall of Fame that any individual from outside of a labor organization has ever been selected to receive this prestigious award.”
The people in attendance at this event paid tribute to the Senator for his years of support to the labor movement and working people everywhere.
Former Congressman Neal Smith spoke highly of Senator Harkin, and gave those in attendance a little history lesson in Iowa labor history and politics. Other speakers included: Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor; Lew Drass, National Association of Letter Carriers Vice President; Dave Nagle, former Iowa Congressman; Emil Ramirez, United Steel Workers Union District 11 Director; Dave Loebsack, Iowa second district Congressman; Bruce Braley, Iowa first district Congressman; Todd Anderson, AFL-CIO Midwest Director, and Ed Hill, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
In a special presentation, President Ed Hill of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers presented Senator Harking with an honorary union card from the IBEW for all he has done for workers not just in Iowa, but across the nation.