World Peace Prize for Ohio Labor Leader

Fr. Sean McManus, Secretary-Treasurer Petee Talley, Barbara Flaherty

CAPITOL HILL – The first woman to serve in a top Ohio AFL-CIO position has been honored by the World Peace Prize organization. Pierrette “Petee” Talley of Columbus is the first woman to hold one of the top two offices in the 56-year history of the Ohio AFL-CIO—Secretary-Treasurer. Ms. Talley, a member of AFSCME Local 3616, was first elected in 2002.

“No one is more deserving of this honor than Secretary Treasurer Talley.  I am proud to stand with the labor community as we recognize her as richly worthy of  this most prestigious award,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.

On Monday, January 7, 2019, in the United Food Commercial Workers union hall, Columbus, the World Peace Prize of “Roving Ambassador for Peace” was conferred upon Ms. Talley.

The Prize was presented by Fr. Sean McManus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus and Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize. The presentation ceremony was chaired by Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President, Irish National Caucus, and a Judge on the World Peace Prize Awarding Council. Fr. Mc Manus described Secretary-Treasurer Talley as “a Rosa Parks of the Ohio labor movement.”

Ms. Talley said: “This is truly a tremendous honor and I am deeply humbled to accept it on behalf of workers in Ohio and across the nation. World peace is a mission that we all must aspire to in our quest for justice for those who labor in the building of our nation’s goods and services, and we do so unselfishly and with pride, in the spirit of peace.”

Fr. McManus Speaking.

Fr. Sean McManus and John Lyall, President, Ohio AFSCME


Pierrette “Petee” Talley, Secretary-Treasurer of Ohio AFL-CIO

Acceptance Address on Receiving the World Peace Prize ” Roving Ambassador for Peace.”

Thank you all so very much for being here today as I accept this very prestigious award.

To Father Sean McManus, the Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize Awarding Council who deemed me worthy of the proposing my name for the Prize. Thank you also to the 14-member panel of International and Interfaith judges that unanimously agreed. Thank you, Ms. Flaherty, for traveling here today to present the award and my sincerest thanks to all of you for being here today as I accept this award on behalf of the workers and the labor movement that I love so dearly. As a movement for worker justice, it is difficult to separate what we do as advocates for fairness on the job from the cause of peace.

You will often hear us when we are in the midst of an action chant, “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE, OR NO CONTRACT, NO PEACE.” What we are suggesting is that in the face of injustice, those who are at the origins of injustice based on indifference, greed, bigotry, and inequality, must be called to task…

Also, to be clear, this award is also an acknowledgment that if we KNOW JUSTICE, we will KNOW PEACE and that means we must also be keepers of the peace in the face of attacks against humanity.  That means, living one’s life in love, truth, integrity, and commitment to others; something I try to live out daily. … I’m reminded every day that I’m in service to others, to workers who have a voice through collective bargaining, and those who do not.  I’m in the fight for justice and peace because I believe that we must harness our collective power as we continue the fight for our respect at work and in our communities with our neighbors, collectively pushing back against those seeking to keep us divided.

I will continue to serve even as the threat of injustice looms all around us; I will continue to stand for peace and love. My early upbringing in the church, where we learn the golden rule, grounds me and keeps me humble as I have answered the call. My family couldn’t be here today, but I thank them for their sacrifice while I’m doing this work that eats into so much family time.

I’m grateful for the love of my union family, AFSCME, Ohio AFL-CIO staff and affiliates, APRI, CBTU, my family and that I have the support of organizations that I serve with and all the folks who are in the trenches making a difference every day. 

I leave you with a bible verse James 3:18 that reads “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Do we have any peacemakers in the hall?  Do we have any justice fighters in the hall?

Thank you for bestowing this great honor of “Roving Ambassador for Peace”!

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