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MNA Director of Organizing Named President of The Labor Guild
Date:1/30/2008

Eileen Norton identifies 'outreach and growth' as primary goals

CANTON, Mass., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eileen Norton, MNA's Director of Organizing, was recently installed as President of The Labor Guild, a Weymouth, MA-based association sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston with a membership of more than 1,200 labor relations activists and professionals that for over 50 years has promoted order and justice in the workplace and provided a forum for interchange among its unique cross-section of members.

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"I consider it an honor to be named President of an organization that for more than a half-century has worked to bring labor and management together to address the important issues facing workers," said Norton, who was installed as president during ceremonies held January 15 at the Quincy Neighborhood Club in Quincy, MA.

Norton, a registered nurse since 1961, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Rhode Island. She first became involved with the Guild 30 years ago when she attended its School of Industrial Relations, the oldest adult labor education program in New England.

"I still recall Father Boyle commenting that I was the first nurse ever to attend," said Norton in reference to Edward Boyle, S.J., who until his death last November, served for 37 years as executive secretary of The Labor Guild.

"In his final days, Father Boyle put in place a vision for the Guild that includes a larger outreach to the immigrant population and low-wage workers," said Norton, acknowledging that as president she will help lead the Guild in achieving that vision "of workplace justice, harmony and efficiency."

To ensure Father Boyle's goals are met, a trust has been established in his name, with the objective of raising funds to hire interns who will work toward realizing what Norton described as "noble ambitions."

"The trust will be a tribute to Father Boyle and a way of achieving his hope, dream and vision of bringing labor and management together," said Norton, identifying the Guild's growth and a broader diversity of membership as aspirations during her two-year tenure.

Also among Norton's goals is increased awareness of both the Guild's School of Industrial Relations and its Cushing-Gavin Awards, an annual acknowledgement of excellence in labor-management relations.

Outgoing Guild President Martin Callaghan said, "It is more important today than ever for the Guild to maintain its efforts to promote a cooperative approach to labor management relations among the various constituencies the Guild serves. Eileen's experience, positive outlook and energetic spirit will bolster these efforts.

"I know Eileen shares the Guild's commitment to promoting a healthy dialogue between the many parties who share an interest in these increasingly challenging issues. I look forward to her leadership of this wonderful institution."

Paul McCarthy, a veteran member of The Labor Guild described Norton as "a seasoned practitioner of the art of helping people to empower themselves in one of the more difficult arenas of the economy, the health care industry."

"Eileen is known on the Guild Board as an energetic and passionate labor activist who is both thoughtful and innovative. Her colleagues on the Board are delighted to have her at the helm at this exciting and challenging time in The Labor Guild's history. We are certain she will have a very successful term of office as President of The Labor Guild," said McCarthy, adding, "As the Guild prepares to engage in new outreach initiatives to bring its message of social justice at the workplace to a wider audience, having Eileen Norton as president at this time is most fortunate for the organization."

The Labor Guild, founded by Cardinal Richard Cushing in 1945, has over the past six decades grown from a small group of trade unionists to a 1,200-member nationwide ecumenical center of union members, managers, arbitrators, mediators, academics, attorneys and government administrators -- in short anyone involved in issues important to American workers.

With a mission to inspire, motivate and assist people to act with conscience and courage in labor management relations, The Labor Guild has long been recognized for its goal to promote good order and justice in the workplace -- one that Norton is up to the challenge to achieve.

"It's all about social justice -- that is the very heart and soul of The Labor Guild," said Norton.


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SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association
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