2008 Labor Hall of Fame inductee Leonard F. Woodcock

Former UAW President to be Inducted into Labor Hall of Fame

Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced the inductees for the 20th annual Labor Hall of Fame ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 3 p.m. EST in the Great Hall of the U.S. Department of Labor's headquarters building in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will honor J. Willard Marriott, founder of Marriott International Inc., and Leonard Woodcock, former president of the United Auto Workers and the first U.S. ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

Chao will preside over the ceremony, in which both men will be honored posthumously. Barbara Somson, deputy legislative director, will present Woodcock's life and achievements. The son of a machine worker, Woodcock played a key role in developing the UAW into one of America's largest industrial unions. Prior to his death in 2001, he spent the final decades of his life constructing an enduring relationship between the United States and China that would serve the vital interests of the citizens of both countries. His wife, Sharon Woodcock, will accept his award.

Marriott, an American entrepreneur and businessman, helmed one of the world's largest hospitality, hotel chains, and food services companies. Marriott senior vice president of government affairs Deborah Marriott Harrison will present her grandfather's induction. His company rose from a small root beer stand in Washington, D.C., in 1927 to a chain of family restaurants by 1932. He opened his first motel in 1957. By the time he died in 1985, the Marriott company operated 1,400 restaurants and 143 hotels and resorts worldwide, employing 154,600 workers. He once said, "You've got to make your employees happy. If the employees are happy, they are going to make the customers happy." His son Richard Marriott, chairman of the board of directors for Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., will accept the award.

Information about previous Labor Hall of Fame induction ceremonies can be found at www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/laborhall.

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