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Bob Howard (second from left) receives the Chicago and Western Lakes PMC 'Unionist of the Year' ship's wheel from (L-R) PLC Secretary-Treasurer Chad Partridge, Past President Tom Faul and PMC President James Sanfilippo.

Bob Howard (second from left) receives the Chicago and Western Lakes PMC ‘Unionist of the Year’ ship’s wheel from (L-R) PLC Secretary-Treasurer Chad Partridge, Past President Tom Faul and PMC President James Sanfilippo.

Almost 100 union members and supporters cheered as Bob Howard was named the Chicago and Western Lakes Port Council’s “Unionist of the Year.”

Howard, who serves as financial secretary of Carpenters Local 434, was recognized during the council’s annual golf outing and luncheon on June 21.

“This is a great honor and a privilege,” the 37-year member and third generation Carpenter told the audience. “I have worked with many of you in the field. All of you understand honor, integrity and loyalty.”

Not only is Howard active in the Labor Movement, he has been very involved in the area’s political process.

In his introduction, PMC President James Sanfilippo noted Howard is in his second term as Will County (IL) Board Commissioner for District 1 and serves on the transportation committee for the National Association of County Organizations.

Sanfilippo, who also is a Carpenter, proclaimed Howard set him straight on how to work with his membership: “The best advice I ever received as a business rep is ‘You must always return a member’s call whether it is good or bad.’”

MTD Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan thanked the port council for its work in support of the Jones Act and for working to get a new lock to handle the larger vessels on the Great Lakes through the Soo Locks. Duncan also reminded the union officials and representatives to work with their membership to get out the vote in November.