Labor Guild holds 38th annual awards dinner

Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley joined Jonathan Kraft, chief operating officer of the Kraft Group, and Rick Charette, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local #1445, in presenting the awards for excellence in labor-management relations at the 38th annual Cushing-Gavin Awards Dinner. The banquet was held Nov. 19 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.

The annual dinner is sponsored by the archdiocesan Labor Guild, an ecumenical organization of labor-relations professionals that support bipartisan labor relations in the area. The celebration is intended to reward those professionals who have shown exemplary talent and effort in their field. A crowd of over 1,000 members of the Greater Boston labor community was on hand this year to celebrate the work of the following four recipients:

Kevin L. Cotter of Quincy. Cotter is the business manager of the Plumbers Local #12, and was chosen as the 2004 Labor Award recipient. He has led the 1,800 member Local for 16 years, and was recently elected president of the New England Pipe Trades.

John Coughlin of Watertown. Coughlin, the vice president of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Massachusetts, is the recipient representing the community of support professionals. A former teacher in the Watertown public-school system, Coughlin has served the labor-management community for 22 years.

Patricia Day of Boston. As this year’s management honoree, Day was recognized for her work as director of labor relations for Massport. A graduate of Suffolk Law School, Day has since worked for different law firms and performed labor-relations oversight with the MBTA, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) and Massport.

Attorney E. David Wanger of Winchester. Wanger, a partner in the law firm of Angoff, Goldman, Manning, Wanger & Hynes, is this year’s Union Counsel recipient. A graduate of both Boston and New York University Law Schools, Wanger has represented numerous fire fighter organizations and several newspaper unions in his 37 years with the firm.

The Labor Guild, founded by Cardinal Cushing in 1945, is the largest such Church-sponsored member organization in the U.S. Its work in the labor-relations community includes administration of contract ratifications, bargaining-unit representation and election of union officers, informal networking and counseling on professional matters, and several education programs and seminars for companies, unions and community groups.

The guild launched its annual awards dinner in 1967. It was named in honor of both Cardinal Cushing and then guild chaplain, Father Mortimer H. Gavin, SJ. Previous recipients have come from across the labor-management spectrum, including labor-relations specialists from Boston public schools, labor activists from New England Regional Labor Councils, arbitrators and third-party agencies in the labor-relations field, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.