Last week we lost a significant Central Ohio labor leader, and the loss will be felt for a long time to come.
Dave Caldwell, President of the Central Ohio Labor Council, AFL-CIO, passed away December 26. In addition to his role with the Labor Council, Dave was also Assistant to the Director of the United Steelworkers District 1.
Dave became a member of Steelworkers Local 2343 when he was employed by Buckeye Steel Castings in 1970 and remained a member until his death. He will be best remembered for his support of workers and efforts to improve their lives in and out of the workplace.
David McCall, Director of United Steelworkers District 1, wrote, “Dave was as strong an advocate for our members, the USW, and Labor in general as anyone I have ever known. His dedication and love for his family was his badge of honor and the pride he had in his sons was obvious to everyone he spoke to. His leadership within the District and at the Ohio AFL/CIO will be missed and his commitment to improving the lives of those who reside in Columbus and surrounding communities is a loss to all.”
Dave was a strong supporter of Columbus Area Labor-Management Committee, and his commitment to the mission of our organization and support for me personally will be greatly missed. He was a former member of the CALMC Board of Trustees, and was planning to return to our board in 2017.
Just before his passing, Dave and I were planning a meeting to discuss ways to help people return to the workforce after a long absence. Although some of the jobs involved may not have been union jobs, he was still concerned about the people involved. That was what it was like to work with Dave and see that dedication to workers regardless of any conditions. As Michael Sexton, Chair of the Franklin County Democratic party wrote, “Dave always fought for working families, for his community, for civil rights, and for the well-being of everyday people.”
We have lost a great friend. Our sympathies go out to his wife, his children, and the rest of his family. He will be missed.