JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown union organizer has been honored for his work in the community, receiving a memorial labor award.
Michael Haimes was awarded the George Ritzer Memorial Labor Award Tuesday night at a presentation at the Northwest Arena.
Haimes, who is the organizer and assistant business manager of the Jamestown IBEW Local 106 and worked with the union for the past decade, received the award for his efforts to make safer labor environments.
“To get the award finally makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something,” explained Haimes. “It makes me feel as though I’ve been accepted by my peers and I’m very happy to receive the award.”
Named in honor of George Ritzer, who served as president of the Jamestown area Labor Council for over 20-years, the award is given to an individual who volunteers and contributes toward the local labor movement.
Several area officials, as well as past award recipients, attended the presentation ceremony to congratulate Haimes; including Assemblyman Andy Goodell.
“These are the people that get up every morning, who go to work, leave their family, work hard, produce products, make the community better and improve our country,” said Goodell. “They’re not the people sitting at home, waiting for someone else to take care of them.”
Dave Wilkinson, business manager of IBEW Local 106, presented the award to Haimes. Last year the honor was awarded to all essential workers.
“We need to respect what laborers do for us and sometimes I think it goes unnoticed. What we really want is workplace dignity, a fair share in the market, health benefits, education, free of violence for our children,” explained Wilkinson, “We want this for all workers, not just for the union workers.”