Annually, the Wisconsin AFL-CIO seeks nominations from its affiliates for its prestigious community services award. In order to receive the highest award the Wisconsin AFL-CIO can offer for service to the community, the nominee must have demonstrated a continuous record of dedicated service in the workplace, the local union, and the community. These outstanding representatives of the labor movement are presented the award at the annual Community Services Conference by the President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO.
In 2015 Tony Anderson, a gear cutter at Joy Global’s National Avenue plant, received this award.
Giving back has been an important part of Tony’s life since he was young. Originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, at the age of six Tony would ride along with his grandfather, a deacon in the church. Together they would travel to rural areas where people lived with limited resources. They served as a traveling grocery store with everything from chickens to toilet tissue and fruits and veggies. Some of the people could pay for what was needed and others could not, but no one was turned away. Witnessing this generosity influenced Tony for decades to come.
Tony is extremely active in many of Joy Global’s company-led community volunteer activities but he goes above and beyond those efforts. In Fall 2014, with assistance from the USW Local 1114, the AFL-CIO, and the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, Tony created a neighborhood event, connecting with local police and fire departments to be on hand and network with the children, promoting the event through radio interviews, securing free haircuts for the kids, collecting new and slightly used books for the children and recruiting a few friends from Joy Global to help out. The event continued to grow with bouncy houses, clowns, and even hot dogs from the Latinos of Steel. In total, over 100 kids came out with their parents.
Tony followed up this successful event with a hat and glove drive for those in need along with inspiring the company to sing carols for the retired nuns who were instrumental in the success of our neighborhood.
Not only did his personal volunteer efforts impress the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, but his work to motivate others certainly made a positive impact. Tony has become a great advocate for volunteering amongst our entire workforce but particularly within the USW Local 1114.
Congratulations and thank you Tony. Your commitment to helping others is valued and appreciated.