Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston, Secretary of Labour nominee

Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston, has been nominated by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden as Secretary of Labour.

The news reports that Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Chicago since 2014, whose parents were from Co Galway, has been nominated by President elect Joe Biden to be his Secretary of Labour has been welcomed by the Cork Mother Jones Committee. If  Mayor Walsh is confirmed he would be the first union member to be Secretary of Labour in almost 50 years. He originally joined the Labourer’ Union local 223, eventually becoming president. Later he led the Boston Building Trade Council.


According to Jim Nolan spokesperson for the Committee.


“Back at the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival, the recently elected Mayor Walsh took the trouble to send a wonderful message of support for the festival. The letter was delivered and presented to the Cork Mother Jones Committee on behalf of Mayor Walsh by the late Professor James Green, of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, who spoke at the 2014 festival. We were absolutely delighted at the time that the Mayor of Boston had recognised the Spirit of Mother Jones festival in Shandon in such a manner and was so forthright in praising our efforts to obtain due recognition for Cork-born labour hero Mother Jones.”

Jim Nolan


In his letter  dated July 25th 2014, Mayor Walsh thanked the Cork Mother Jones Committee “for honouring her powerful legacy” and went on to say “like Mother Jones we must abide wherever there is a fight against wrong”.


All at the festival were very appreciative of this letter which detailed the Mayor’s efforts over many years to support workers’ rights.


This is an extract from Mayor Walsh in his 2014 letter to the Cork Mother Jones Committee,

I know that the simple notion of fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work is far from a simple thing to achieve. Securing justice takes a hard, complex and constant struggle, it takes collective action that is only accomplished through the kind of community building you are doing this weekend in Cork” 

Marty Walsh – Lord Mayor of Boston


In response to the recent news, committee spokesman Jim Nolan issued the following statement:

Mother Jones herself could not have put it better and the Cork Mother Jones Committee proposes to send a letter of congratulations to Marty Walsh on his being nominated to this powerful Secretary of Labour position in the US Government. .”

Jim Nolan

Here is a link to our post about Mayor Walsh’s letter from 2014, which includes his full letter of support for the Festival: https://motherjonescork.com/2014/08/06/greetings-from-the-mayor-of-boston/

Mother Jones and her Army of Mill Children

  • Words by Jonah Winter.
  • Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. 
  • Published by Schwartz & Wade Books. New York 2020

This book for Children tells the story of the March of the Mill Children led by Mother Jones during July 1903 from Philadelphia to President Roosevelt’s summer mansion in Long Island, New York.

Using many quotes from Mother Jones herself, author Winter  describes it as a “true story that will excite budding young activists and pint-sized agitators alike” to fight for social justice.

Mother Jones speaks directly to children in an outraged tone, when describing the exploitative conditions of young children in the mines, mills and factories of the American Industrial revolution at the beginning of the 20th Century.

The language is blunt, forceful and engage with children’s natural empathy with their oppressed predecessors who were unable to go to school as they worked long hours in terrible conditions.

The illustrations by Nancy Carpenter are first class, with Mother Jones standing out in her dark attire presenting a striking impact in many of the books colourful pages.

“ In her own way, Mother Jones is as important as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. By law, American children must now go to school and are barred from working in factories – thanks in large part to Mother Jones.”

Jonah Winter

Yet there remain countries where children still work in factories, an estimated 150 – 200 million children, instead of receiving an education, many are still in factories producing clothes for America and Europe in unacceptable conditions. Mother Jones would remain very active today.