The late Senator is inducted into Labor Hall of Honor.
By Erica Moody
The late U.S. Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy joined the likes of Helen Keller, Cesar Chavez and Mother Jones last week as he was inducted into the Labor Department’s Hall of Honor. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez presided over the ceremony attended by administration officials, leaders of labor organizations, Kennedy’s relatives and friends of the family.
“On just about every issue we touch here at the Labor Department, the trail has been blazed by Senator Kennedy,” Perez remarked. “Whether it’s protecting pensions, standing up for the health of miners, investing in job training and building the workforce system, fighting for equal pay for women, or helping veterans find good jobs, we stand on his shoulders. His work is our work.”
The Hall of Honor was established in 1988 to recognize Americans who have contributed to improving working conditions, wages and overall quality of life for America’s working families.
Kennedy fought consistently for fair pay and to raise the federal minimum wage. He showed a devotion to worker safety, and believed in high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. He spent nearly 47 years in the Senate working towards these goals, especially during his time as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Kennedy passed away in 2009 at the age of 77.
Among the over 400 guests in attendance were former Labor Secretaries William E. Brock, Elaine Chao and Alexis M. Herman; Victoria Reggie Kennedy; Patrick Kennedy; Edward Kennedy Jr., William Kennedy Smith; U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin and Elizabeth Warren; and former Congressman John Tierney.