Hall of Honor Inductee: Joseph A. Beirne

Joseph Beirne

Joseph A. Beirne (1911 — 1974)

"When you're head of a union, you've got to be a sociologist, marriage counselor, father confessor, psychiatrist, economist, legal expert, all wrapped into one. You must have the desire to help people help themselves."

Joseph A. Beirne was a Horatio Alger figure, rising from working class roots to president of the Communications Workers of America and a counselor to presidents and popes. As president of the National Federation of Telephone Workers, Beirne led organizing drives into the anti-union South and organized several companies, including giant Bell South. As the first CWA president, he aggressively sought equal pay for the union's large constituency of women workers.

Previous Section
Next Section