Larry Hanley Was a Transformational Labor Leader. He Will Be Missed.
On May 7, while recovering from an illness, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President Larry Hanley died suddenly. In a brief statement, his family, quoting Mary G. Harris “Mother” Jones, urged us to: "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living."
Larry was an amazing friend, brother, comrade and union builder. He was modest, especially for an international union president. But what made Larry unique was his commitment to grassroots coalition building. He organized rider coalitions, bargained for the public good, initiated progressive ballot measures and embedded the issue of climate change in the politics of the ATU. More than anything else he defined union political action as transformational and not just transactional.
Larry was elected president of his union nine years ago as an insurgent demanding institutional change. For many of us elected to union or public office, the focus is on our own career or journey. Never for Larry!