Amalgamated Transit Union president Lawrence J. Hanley passed away on May 7 at the age of 62. Calling him “a brother and comrade in the fight for working families,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said that Hanley’s “life was defined by activism…Larry committed every day he had to advancing the idea that regular people deserve a voice on the job.” Under Hanley’s leadership, the ATU was transformed into one of the fiercest and most progressive unions in the labor movement, aggressively advocating for more and better public transportation and fighting for social, racial, and economic justice for all working people.
"Larry was a good friend and union brother who never ever hesitated to answer the call for solidarity," said Metro Washington Council president -- and former ATU 689 president -- Jackie Jeter. "We both came up as bus drivers and it was an real honor and privilege to be able to work with him as advocates for public transit and to help build 'One ATU'"
Hanley began driving a bus in 1978, at age 21, in Brooklyn, NY, and attended his first union meeting that September as a member of the Transport Workers Union (TWU). In 1979, he transferred to Staten Island and became a member of ATU Local 726. On his first strike, he was renowned for walking the picket line every day and night. He became a shop steward, and was later elected as the youngest president of Local 726. In 2002, Hanley rose to become an ATU International Vice President before being elected as a reformer to the office of International President in 2010.
photo: Hanley (center, in white shirt) with Metro Washington Council president Jackie Jeter (then president of ATU 689) and ATU 689 members at a 2014 rally.