6. Robbie Hunter
Robbie Hunter leads the powerful State Building and Construction Trades Council — for now. He announced his retirement in June, catching the Capitol by surprise because he departs at the peak of his powers. But, he’ll be around until BCTC finds his successor, so he’s still in the saddle and on our list – in fact, our highest-ranking labor leader. Hunter’s BCTC, which he has led since 2012, is affiliated with unions representing 450,000 workers. He has no problem defending his turf and picking fights, such as when he publicly complained after the governor booted him off a work commission. They sorted it out, but tensions remain. (He even smacked Capitol Weekly, when we invited a speaker he found objectionable to one of our discussion forums.) The Irish-born Hunter lives and breathes unions: His great-grandfather John Quinn, himself a labor organizer, used to tell how famed Irish labor leader James Connolly slept on the family couch. Hunter first appeared on this list in 2013, at No. 55, and was in the top 10 by 2015, where he’s resided almost every year since.
Updated Aug. 25, 2o21