National Labor College Awards PFFW President
Mitchell Honorary Degree
PFFW President Mahlon Mitchell with U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA)
June 28, 2013 -- Mahlon Mitchell, president of the
Professional Fire Fighter of Wisconsin (PFFW),
was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters by
the National Labor College (NLC) during
commencement exercises June 22 at the
Maritime Institute of Graduate Studies in
“I am thankful to receive this award, not
because I give myself any importance, but
because I can share this honor with my
brothers and sisters in the IAFF and all
those who continue to fight for workers'
rights,” says Mitchell.
According to NLC Vice President for
Marketing & Communications Lara L. Manzione,
honorary degrees are awarded to individuals
that have “attained status of eminence in
the course of their career in some field of
public service, the law, government, the
arts, scholarship or other endeavor that
advances the labor movement.”
Mitchell was selected for his strong
leadership in opposition to Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker’s 2011 Budget Repair
Bill (Act 10), which curtailed collective
bargaining for public safety employees.
Although police officers and fire fighters
were specifically carved out of the bill,
Mitchell led more than 1,000 fire fighters
to join tens of thousands of their union
brothers and sisters in multiple mass
protests at the state Capitol in Madison.
The protests were a driving force behind
state legislature recall elections in 2011
and 2012. In 2012, Mitchell ran for
lieutenant governor of Wisconsin against
Rebecca Kleefish, but was defeated.
“My resolve will continue to be strong as
ever to combat the attacks on workers’
rights here in Wisconsin and across the
nation,” Mitchell says.