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Gina Walsh recognized for labor leadership


The Labor-Management Council (LMC) honored former state Sen. Gina Walsh during its annual awards dinner last week, recognizing her support of its mission during her tenure in the legislature. 

Walsh, a St. Louis Democrat who termed out of the upper chamber early this year, was awarded the Leadership in Labor-Management Cooperation Award at the group’s 41st-anniversary celebration and awards dinner. 

“It’s always nice to be recognized by the people you represent,” Walsh told The Missouri Times. “It’s nice to be honored by your colleagues, but when both labor and management work together it’s extraordinary. It shows the willingness of both organizations to compromise and come to an agreement in areas where compromises can be hard to find. I’m very happy to be recognized with this award.”

Walsh led as minority floor leader during the 2018 battle over prevailing wage in the legislature, during which an attempt was mounted to repeal the minimum wage threshold for public works projects, including roads and bridges

Alise Martiny, Greater Kansas City Building and Construction Trades business manager and LMC secretary, said Walsh was “instrumental” in preserving the state’s prevailing wage policies.

“[Walsh] was a great supporter of LMC’s mission and issue priorities during her terms as a state senator as well as her work as state building trades president,” Martiny said. “In both positions, she actively sought involvement from the Kansas City community even though she is from the St. Louis area and also promoted more opportunities for women.”

Walsh was the first woman to graduate from the St. Louis Insulators apprenticeship program and the first female head of the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades Council where she served as president. She is continuing her work with the labor sector as deputy director of the Insulators’ Labor-Management and Cooperative Trust, the highest position occupied by a woman in the union’s history.

LMC also granted the Service to the Labor-Management Council Award to Kansas City Council member Kevin O’Neill and retired Builders’ Association publications director Bill Wien. 

Gabe Jones was elected labor co-chair with several board members re-elected to their positions during the event as well. 

LMC has been helping facilitate communication between labor and management since 1979. It is based at Rockhurst University in Kansas City.