Cushing-Gavin Award Recipient
Labor Award, 2018
As a United Steelworkers Sub-District Director, Steve Finnigan oversees their New England locals within the vast USW District 4, which also includes New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and the territory of Puerto Rico. He manages the District’s offices in Massachusetts and Maine.
Growing up in Quincy, Steve, his four sisters and his brother were raised in a union family. His father Joe worked for Boston Edison and was an Executive Board member of the Boston Edison Clerical Union Local 387 (UWUA). After raising her children, his mother Barbara started a new career at the Massachusetts Lottery with a
In 1972, Steve Finnigan joined Boston Gas and USW Local #12003. In 1979, he ran as the Local’s Treasurer and won. “I ran against a good friend of Paul Hannon’s (CGA ’01), the Local’s president. Paul not only welcomed me, he became a great mentor. He’d say: ‘It’s all about the members. We take care of our members first and foremost.” That’s what our union stands for. Paul did it all. I learned so much from him.”
In 1985, Steve was elected to the union’s Bargaining/Grievance Committee, and later served as 12003’s president from 1994-98. He joined USW District 4 as a Staff Representative in 1998. Since 2004, he has served as District 4’s Sub-District Director. His twenty-plus New England locals represent both private and public-sector workers including National Grid, the MWRA, the City of Boston, Eversource, Berkshire Gas, the Town of Foxboro, and a New Bedford steel plant, Allegheny Technologies (ATI).
Steve and his wife Christine have two children, their daughter Erin, who is a CPA for Iron Mountain, and Brian, who is a Staff Engineer for the MWRA and a member of MOSES. Brian and his wife Courtney are the parents of Chris and Steve’s 2-year-old grandson (“our little guy”) Shane.
As president of the USW’s Staff Union since 2014, Steve bargains on behalf of 350 staff members in the US and Canada. A MA AFL-CIO Vice President, Steve is also on the Executive Board of the Greater Boston Labor Council and the Labor Guild.
How does he see the future of labor unions? “With so many challenging times ahead, people need to get involved as good solid members. Without your members’ full support, any organization becomes progressively stagnant. We work hard to listen to concerns and provide solid, accurate information so members understand and think through the issues that will affect them. During this lookout struggle, the strength and unity of those members has been awesome and moving.”