Breehey was a leading voice in the labor movement, representing the Boilermakers on issues related to energy policy and climate change and their impact on workers. He was widely respected for his passion, intellect, and ability to build consensus across ideological and political lines.
He testified before U.S. Senate committees and represented the Boilermakers in international negotiations regarding the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He also advised the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department as chairman of the department’s Legislative Task Force.
Breehey receive his bachelor’s degree from Sienna College in Loudonville, N.Y., and his master’s degree in Public Policy from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University of Albany. He was also a graduate of the Trade Union Program at Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the Boilermakers in 2004, he served as legislative assistant for Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX 25th).
He is survived by his wife, Sonya, beloved daughter Abigail, father Ray, mother Carol, sister Rachel, three nieces, and a nephew.
In lieu of flowers, the International directs non-tax-deductible donations to Breehey’s wife and daughter be made to: Friends of Abe Breehey, Attention: Megan Powell, 11810 W 75th Street, Shawnee, KS 66214.
Following his death, Abe was honored in Washington D.C., by readings into the Congressional Record and the flying of United States flags at half-mast.
In the U.S. House, Representatives Joe Courtney (CT), George Miller (CA), Brian Higgins (NY), Mazie Hirono (HI), and Sam Farr (CA), read tributes that will be published in the permanent record of the House proceedings.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX) arranged for a flag to be flown over the Capitol and to be presented with a note from the congressman to Breehey’s daughter, Abigail.
Rep. Betty Sutton (OH) arranged for a flag to be flown over the Capitol and presented to Breheey’s parents, Ray and Carol.
Meanwhile, AFL-CIO Pres. Richard Trumka directed that flags at AFL-CIO headquarters be flown at half-mast in Breehey’s honor. Breehey was very much involved with the AFL-CIO and served as chairman of the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Task Force.
To view statements that were read into the Congressional Record on behalf of Abe Breehey, click on the names below.