National Labor College Awards PFFW President Mitchell Honorary Degree
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 Linthicum, Maryland.
“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.