1926 - 2002
Mazzocchi served as President of Local 8-149 and as International
Executive Board member, Legislative Director, Health and Safety
Director, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer of the former Oil,
Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union (OCAW). The OCAW
is now the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers
International Union (PACE). Mazzocchi has played a key role in the
occupational and environmental health movements and the struggle
for workers rights.
Mazzocchi was a combat soldier in three World War II campaigns.
After the war, he worked as an auto worker, steelworker and in the
construction trades. He served as President of OCAW Local 8-149
from 1953 to 1965. As President, he won a number of firsts, including
the first dental insurance program in private industry. Mazzocchi
successfully amalgamated his local, conducted organizing, negotiated
with over 25 diversified corporations, and led numerous strikes
and corporate campaigns. He served as Vice-President of the Nassau-Suffolk
CIO Council from 1952 to 1955, and the Long Island Federation of
Labor from 1955 to 1973.
In 1957, he was elected International Executive Board member of
OCAW District 8, serving until his appointment as the International
union's Citizenship-Legislative Director in 1965. He led the legislative
struggles of the 1960s and 1970s, played key roles in the passage
of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and in the civil
After the death of OCAW member Karen Silkwood, with whom he worked
on health and safety issues at the Kerr-McGee nuclear facility in
Oklahoma, Mazzocchi made public the truth about her case. Mazzocchi
also set up an innovative internship program for medical and public
health students to experience conditions in the workplace firsthand
and assist in formulating remedies.
He was elected OCAW Vice-President in 1977 and was in charge of
the union's programs in health and safety, atomic energy, and organizing.
From 1979 to 1981 he served as Health and Safety Director. After
running for OCAW President in 1979 and 1981, losing by less than
one percent each time, he returned in 1982 to participate as a rank-and-file
member of Local 8-149 and District 8 Council.
In 1988, Mazzocchi was elected OCAW Secretary-Treasurer and served
through 1991 when he declined to run for another term. He established
the Alice Hamilton College, a school-without-walls dedicated to
the educational needs of union members, and published New Solutions,
a journal of environmental and occupational health policy. In 1991,
he and other trade union activists formed Labor Party Advocates,
a nationwide effort to organize a political alternative for working
people. As a result of this effort, the Labor Party was founded
in 1996, and Mazzocchi was appointed its National Organizer. The
Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute was founded 1998 with Mazzocchi as
its first director.
in Tony's memory may be made to:
1532 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036