Mike Cavanaugh (pictured front right) joined the staff of the Labor Network for Sustainability as of February, 2019 as our Senior Strategic Advisor/Organizer after a lifetime of working in the labor movement as an organizer and advocate for workers and their unions.
A native of Chicago, Mike began working in the labor movement in 1973 as an organizer building community and student support across the Midwest for striking garment workers of the Farah manufacturing company in El Paso and San Antonio Texas. He went on to organize hospital workers, clothing and textile workers, warehouse workers, public employees and more with a focus on building labor-community alliances for social and economic justice in states throughout New England, where he eventually became the Secretary Treasurer of the New England Regional Joint Board of UNITE.
After leaving his union in 1999 to accept a position at the national AFL-CIO in Washington DC, Mike held a number of senior positions in the Federation’s Field Department working to build and strengthen the nationwide network of State Federations, Area and Central Labor Councils. When the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention elected Tefere Gebre, the first immigrant, refugee, and central labor council leader to be elected to the top leadership as its Executive Vice President, Mike joined Tefere as his Executive Assistant, a position he held until retiring from the national federation in 2018.
Mike has a B.A. in Studies for Social Change from Knox College in Galesburg Illinois, and a Masters Degree in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts. His wife Dianne of Portland Maine is Nurse Practitioner currently working in Queens, NY. Their children Jennifer and Brendan and their spouses Daniel and Michelle live in New Jersey as do their two grandchildren, (around whom the world rotates) Michael Graceon (3 years) and Liam Gregory (6 months).
Mike brings a lifetime of organizing experience and a passion for building a progressive labor movement to the important work of LNS. For all of our children and grandchildren – our efforts must be consistent and long term to build a just and sustainable economy, environment and society.