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Gerald W. McEntee

The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO joins with the rest of labor in mourning the passage of former American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) President Gerald McEntee. He was 87 when he died on July 10.

“Gerry was a power in the AFL-CIO,” recalled MTD President Michael Sacco, who served with McEntee on the AFL-CIO Executive Council. “He was a dynamic leader and fought constantly for his members and all workers.”

McEntee served as president of the MTD affiliate from 1981 until 2012. He joined the union in 1956 in his native Philadelphia working at the Philadelphia Bureau of Traffic Engineering. Soon, he was a staffer for AFSCME District Council 33, then executive director for Council 13, where he led Pennsylvania state workers in a successful three-day strike in 1975.

He led his union in numerous battles against state and local efforts to privatize government jobs. As a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, he oversaw the federation’s political committee from the mid 1990’s into the early 2010’s, expanding labor’s energies around the country.