Labor Community Mourns Loss of Hero

Vincent J. Giblin, Former IUOE President and Long-time Labor Leader, has passed away.

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we inform you of the death of long-time labor leader and New Jersey resident, Vincent J. Giblin. The former President of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Vincent was an innovative leader and mentor who was greatly admired by the labor community.

Vincent’s career in organized labor began in 1964 when he joined Local 68, IUOE, where he served as the union’s Business Manager for 29 years. A hard-working, driven leader, he was elected General President of IUOE in Washington D.C. in 2005. He also served as Chairman of several Boards, including Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Jersey and the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Vincent always placed the needs of his members first. During his time with IUOE, Vincent led the union’s first National Training Fund and transformed their entire technological infrastructure. In the legislative arena, he fought tirelessly to secure good jobs for his members, supporting legislation such as the highway bill reauthorization to create jobs and championing Davis-Bacon protections in federal jobs bills. He also pushed for health care reform and other national legislation to improve the lives of all working people.

Vincent established several programs and funds for working families, including the Employee Assistance Program for union members and families facing substance abuse problems and a Supplemental Unemployment Fund that provides continued healthcare benefits and financial support to members displaced from their jobs. He also established a scholarship fund for the children of Local 68 members, which has provided more than a half-million dollars in education assistance to nearly a hundred students.

Vincent’s selfless service and leadership expended beyond organized labor, as well. As Chairman of the San Francisco Earthquake Fund, the Los Angeles Earthquake Fund, and the Mississippi River Flood Fund, he raised more than $120,000 to aid disaster victims. He also gave generously to Doctors Without Borders for its work after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Vincent’s dedication to working families and his distinguished record of service to labor earned him praise on several occasions. One of his most notable awards came in 1995, when the former Governor of New Jersey, Christine Whitman, granted him the Governor’s Award for Labor Achievement.

Though he is no longer with us, Vincent has left an everlasting impression on the Labor Community, and his efforts and contributions will continue to benefit working families for years to come.

Vincent J. Giblin will be greatly missed. However, we at the New Jersey State AFL-CIO feel comfort in knowing that his legacy will be carried on by those he had mentored and served.  

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