News

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

Our brother and leader Richard Trumka passed away on August 5, 2021, at the age of 72.

Liz Shuler is the first woman ever elected president of the AFL-CIO.

She took over a time when the world of work has been turned upside down.

Union organizing is happening in some unexpected places, and sometimes in ways that disrupt the traditional union playbook.

LABOR PRESS: You’ve been given such a huge responsibility now, with the death of your friend Rich Trumka [In August she was appointed to serve the remainder of his term.] But the entire time you’ve been involved, labor has been struggling to come back. Do you have a secret plan? What can the AFL-CIO do to rebuild the labor movement?

It was deeply disappointing that just days after our nation paid homage to the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday, the same senators who praised his name struck down critical legislation that would have strengthened our election systems and ensured every American has the fundamental right to vote.

"We are building pathways and support structures to grow a bold, inclusive, and transformative movement — I think that's pretty badass," says Shuler, the first woman elected president of the AFL-CIO in the labor federation's history.

here weren’t many strikes in recent decades in which working people scored big victories, but the 1989 Pittston strike was one. Two years earlier, the Pittston Coal Company, in Pennsylvania, dropped out of a trade group that had negotiated a union contract with the United Mine Workers, and the company demanded cuts to miners’ health benefits.

The U.S. tech sector is the next frontier for labor organizing, and its workers are starting to understand the collective power unions have, President of the AFL-CIO Liz Shuler said on Friday at the Reuters Next Conference.

When Liz Shuler rides on an airplane, she often has an experience that will be familiar to most travelers: Her seat mate asks, "What do you do?"

Five years ago, after saying she worked for a labor union, Shuler said, most people would put their noses back in their books. Today, she's met with reactions like "awesome" and "amazing." 

NYT: How did you get your start in the labor movement?

Liz Shuler: I came up through the IBEW [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers]. My father was a union member and worked for PGE [an Oregon utility]. Clerical workers were not in a union, and my mother and I were organizing them. PGE was a study in the difference a union can make: Power linemen were respected and made good wages, and nonunion clerical workers were not listened to and didn’t have a voice.