Cushing-Gavin Award Recipient
Labor Award, 2019
Rich Rogers is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Boston Labor Council. He spent 21 years with the Massachusetts AFL-CIO prior to heading the GBLC.
Rich has been organizing his whole career. A Worcester native, he graduated from UMass Amherst and was hired as an organizer in the labor movement in 1982 with UFCW Local 1459 in Springfield. The following year he joined the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, where he worked through the ’80s as a political organizer on issues that affected workers across the state, including the No on 2 campaign that defeated a ballot measure to repeal Massachusetts’s Prevailing Wage law in 1988.
During the ’90s, Rich was involved in some of the most consequential political fights of the era. In 1992 he was appointed Political Director for the MA AFL-CIO, and in that role he was labor’s chief organizer in several key battles, including the 1994 Senate race in which Ted Kennedy defeated Mitt Romney and the elections of Jim McGovern and John Tierney to Congress.
He served in the role of Political Director for a total of 12 years, leaving the post in 2004 to become the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Boston Labor Council. He would be reelected three times, a testament to his dedication and effectiveness in leading the GBLC. During his tenure he has played an integral role in fostering diversity and solidarity within the Boston area labor movement, and under his leadership GBLC has maintained one of the highest affiliation rates of any AFL-CIO-linked labor council in the country.
Though he’s not running for reelection with the GBLC, Rich won’t be going too far. Nearly four decades’ worth of work has afforded him an invaluable store of institutional knowledge, lessons learned, and personal relationships that he’ll use to continue supporting the GBLC and the rest of the labor movement; but he’ll be taking a much-deserved step back.
Rich is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the proud father of a 22-year-old daughter, Caroline. The Labor Guild is proud to present Rich Rogers with the Cushing-Gavin Award in recognition of a lifetime of service to the Massachusetts labor movement.