J. Michael Downey

(401) 724-5900

J. Michael Downey is the president of Council 94. He was first elected in 2005 and reelected in 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022.  He also served as the president of the largest local in Council 94, Local 528 which represents workers at the University of Rhode Island, for over 27 years.  

President Downey grew up in a union household. His father was the president of Local 28, the Plumber’s Union and executive director of the Allied Building Trades.  His grandfather was president of the Bricklayer’s Union, Local 1. 

Building on ideas generated by his over 27 years leading his own local, “Mike” as he prefers to be called,  has championed and promoted policies and programs to increase member participation within the union.  He has expanded and enhanced the union’s political action committee and its fundraising arm.  He has worked tirelessly to protect members’ wages, working conditions and benefits.  He has prioritized the council’s organizing program, adding new locals within the last few years.

Mike serves on the state AFL-CIO executive board.  He is also a board member of the Rhode Island Institute of Labor Studies.  He served on the University of Rhode Island’s Affirmative Action Committee for 8 years. Mike is employed as the Chief Plumbing Investigator at the Department of Labor & Training and holds a master plumber’s license.

Mike is also active in his own community.  He currently serves as Chairman of the Tax Assessment Review Board in Charlestown.  Additionally, Mike is the Co-chair of Serve Rhode Island. He is a former councilman for the town of Charlestown and a former member of the state’s retirement board.

A native Rhode Islander, Mike and his wife Claudette have been married for over 35 years and have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.