Liz Shuler first woman elected as AFL-CIO president

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler

Glass ceilings shattered in the labor movement when Liz Shuler was elected as president of the AFL-CIO on August 20 by the AFL-CIO Executive Council. Shuler is the first woman to hold that office in the history of the labor federation. She previously served as the AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer.

“President Shuler’s election is well deserved,” said Boilermakers International President Newton B. Jones. “No one is better prepared or better suited to continue leading the AFL-CIO and the labor movement forward for the working men and women of America.”

Shuler’s election came after the unexpected death of Richard Trumka, who had served as president since 2009.

“I am humbled and honored and ready to guide this federation forward,” Shuler said in a press release issued by the AFL-CIO. “I believe in my bones the labor movement is the single greatest organized force for progress. This is a moment for us to lead societal transformations—to leverage our power to bring women and people of color from the margins to the center—at work, in our unions and in our economy, and to be the center of gravity for incubating new ideas that will unleash unprecedented growth.”

AFL-CIO Executive Council also elected Fred Redmond, United Steelworkers International Vice President, as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, filling the position vacated in Shuler’s election. Redmond is the first African American elected as the federation’s secretary-treasurer.

“I could not be more excited to get to work with President Shuler so we can build on the labor movement’s legacy of change, writing a new chapter that brings the promise of union membership to workers across the country,” Redmond said in the press release. “This is the right team at the right time to help bring about the economic and social justice America is hungry for.”

Rounding out what the AFL-CIO is describing as its most diverse team of officers ever to lead the organization is Tefere Gebre, who will continue in his role as executive vice president.

“The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers stands firmly in support of President Shuler and her team of officers, and we very much look forward to working with them to further the good work of the AFL-CIO,” said IP Jones.

Full biographical information on Shuler, Redmond and Gebre can be found at www.aflcio.org.