Working People and Allies Congratulate AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and New Leadership

Working People and Allies Congratulate AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and New Leadership

New AFL-CIO leadership team

On Friday, Liz Shuler (IBEW) was elected president of the AFL-CIO by the federation’s Executive Council. The also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president. Upon the release of the election results, positive response was widespread. Here’s what people are saying:

Actors’ Equity:

AFGE National President Everett Kelley:

“On behalf of the more than 700,000 government employees AFGE represents, I extend our congratulations to Liz Shuler and Fred Redmond on their elections to lead the AFL-CIO following the untimely passing of former President Richard Trumka.

“As AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer, Liz Shuler has been an unwavering ally of AFGE members for many years – joining us at union conventions, labor rallies, and organizing events to support the federal and D.C. government workers we represent. Her election as the first woman to lead the AFL-CIO is truly a historic and well-deserved achievement.

“Likewise, United Steelworkers International Vice President Fred Redmond makes history as the first African American to serve as AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer. Fred also has been a long-time supporter of AFGE, joining us at our human rights conferences and speaking out in support of the issues that matter most for our members.

“In addition to the elections of Shuler and Redmond, AFGE District 10 National Vice President Cheryl Eliano was elected as one of 55 vice presidents on the AFL-CIO Executive Council.

“As members of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, Cheryl and I look forward to working with Liz and Fred in their new roles to continue advancing the labor movement and strengthening our service to working people across the nation.”


Air Line Pilots Association:

Alliance for Retired Americans President Robert Roach, Jr.:

“On behalf of retirees across the country, I want to congratulate Liz Shuler on her election as President of the AFL-CIO and United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond on his election as Secretary Treasurer. Both of their elections are historic and well deserved. President Shuler has done an outstanding job as Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, and Alliance members have benefitted from her serving as our Executive Vice President. We worked together on the AFL-CIO’s Retirement Security Working Group, where she was a driving force in successfully battling to shore up failing multiemployer pension funds. Secretary-Treasurer Redmond has also made retirement security a focus of his career at USW and has served as the Chair of the AFL-CIO’s Older and Retired Workers Committee. He fought to protect USW members’ health care and pensions, and has made sure that retiree issues receive the attention they deserve. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s untimely death on August 5 has left us with big shoes to fill. But with President Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Redmond leading the way, I am confident that the labor movement will work to ensure that retired union members, and all Americans, have the secure retirement they have earned after a lifetime of hard work.”

Amalgamated Transit Union:

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

American Postal Workers Union:

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:


Bricklayers President Tim Driscoll:

“Sister Shuler’s commitment to strengthening the voice of union labor—from the workplace to the halls of Congress—is second to none. Her passion and work ethic have been rewarded by her peers in electing her as the sixth President of the AFL-CIO, and the first woman to hold that position. Liz’s roots as a local IBEW organizer have informed her decision-making throughout her career and are central to the vision she brings to leading the federation. Her vital stewardship of the AFL-CIO through two recessions has demonstrated an ability to adapt and thrive during challenging times. While the depth and breadth of her experience in working with numerous affiliates over the years ensures that the varying nature of challenges faced by each affiliate union will inform the goals and strategic programs of the AFL-CIO. I look forward to working with Liz to meet those challenges head-on. I also want to congratulate newly elected AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond. A resilient organizer and steadfast leader, Brother Redmond has been a stalwart champion for the rights of working men and women throughout his career. On behalf of our Union, I want to congratulate Liz, Fred, and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre. They are a diverse and dynamic leadership team that will work tirelessly to provide a brighter future for all working families.”

Coalition of Labor Union Women President Elise Bryant:

“Congratulations to our newly elected president of the AFL-CIO, Liz Shuler! President Shuler is a long-time supporter and member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. Liz welcomed me into her former office of Secretary-Treasurer even before I became president of CLUW. There is no doubt in my mind that Liz Shuler is a SNAP — a sister not afraid of power and will be an outstanding leader for the labor movement in the U.S.A.

“Congratulations also to Brother Fred Redmond, our newly elected Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO. I’ve known Fred for years in his capacity as the United Steelworkers of America Vice President for Human Affairs. There is no doubt in my mind that Brother Redmond will continue his work to make the labor movement more inclusive to women, people of color and immigrant workers.

“Shuler, Redmond and Gebre — what a team! Brother Rich Trumka is smiling down from heaven!”

Communications Workers of America:

Today’s historic appointment of Liz Shuler as the next president of the federation, the first woman to hold the office, and United Steelworkers International Vice President Fred Redmond as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold this position, by the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council is welcome news to all CWA members and the entire labor movement. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

“For more than a decade Liz Shuler and former President Trumka worked hand in hand to guide the AFL-CIO,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “The diversity of the new leadership team is a sign of progress for our movement. I have absolute faith in their ability to continue to fight for the dignity of all workers.”

“Liz Shuler has dedicated her career to fighting for the protection of the rights of working families,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “As a trailblazer for women and young workers, her appointment will be an inspiration to a new generation of leaders in the labor movement and beyond.”

Congratulations to President Liz Shuler and the AFL-CIO’s new historic leadership team.

Department for Professional Employees:

Electrical Workers:

Fire Fighters:

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:


Machinists International President Robert Martinez:

National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi:

“On behalf of the NATCA National Executive Board and the nearly 20,000 aviation safety professionals we represent, I want to extend my warmest congratulations to Liz and Fred on their election. Because of their strong passion for fighting for workers and their rights both on and off the job, NATCA stands with Liz and Fred, and we offer them our full support.

“We continue to mourn the recent tragic loss of former AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka. Although nobody can replace Brother Rich in our hearts, there is nobody better to serve as President of the AFL-CIO than Liz Shuler. Liz knows the House of Labor inside and out and has already led us in so many important endeavors. With the pandemic still raging, and the historic infrastructure bill and PRO Act working their way through the U.S. Congress, these are critically important days for our country, all American workers, and our transportation industry. Liz knows how to unify our voices to protect workers and strengthen our economy in this challenging time. We look forward to working with her and Fred as they build upon the successes of the past and strengthen us into the future.

NATCA members are proud to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in organized labor. We will continue to move people, cargo, and the COVID-19 vaccine and other medical supplies. We will continue to advocate for the passage of the infrastructure bill and the PRO Act, and we will support Liz Shuler and Fred Redmond as they make our Labor Movement stronger.”

National Association of Letter Carriers:

National Nurses United:

National Nurses United (NNU) today welcomed the election of long-time labor leader Liz Shuler as president of the AFL-CIO, a federation of 12.5 million members.

Shuler, who succeeds the late Richard Trumka, will be the first woman to lead the premier labor federation of the United States. NNU also congratulates United Steelworkers International Vice President Fred Redmond for his election as AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, succeeding Shuler in that role.

“We could not be more proud of Liz Shuler, who will be the first woman leader of the AFL-CIO, and has a record as an accomplished labor leader and activist who brings vision and innovative ideas that will strengthen the entire labor movement,” said NNU President Deborah Burger, RN.

“Liz Shuler has been a great friend of registered nurses and our union,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “Her outspoken advocacy for the strongest possible infectious disease control protections over the past year in the face of the grave danger to our members and all Americans in this terrible once-in-a-century pandemic symbolizes what a strong champion she will be for workers, patients, and public health and safety overall.”

Castillo also cited Shuler’s “strong support for NNU union organizing campaigns, a recognition of the enormous significance of how the labor movement needs to grow in the face of so many attacks from the corporate class and the far-right legislators and policy groups aligned with them.”

“There could not be a better tribute to the legacy of Rich Trumka than to be followed by Liz Shuler who worked so closely with him and will surely expand the influence and achievements of the labor movement for all working people,” Castillo added.

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

NFL Players Association:

North America’s Building Trades Unions:

Painters and Allied Trades General President Jimmy Williams:

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Plumbers and Pipe Fitters:

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Roofers and Waterproofers:

Transportation Trades Department President Greg Regan and Secretary-Treasurer Shari Semelsberger:

“On behalf of millions of frontline transportation workers and the unions that represent them, we congratulate Liz Shuler and Fred Redmond on their unanimous election as president and secretary-treasurer, respectively, of the AFL-CIO.

“Today’s historic election comes during an unprecedented time in history. Working families are still bearing the brunt of a global public health and economic crisis. The introduction of new technologies, combined with the explosive rise of anti-worker business models, threatens to change the nature of work itself. And our movement continues to mourn the loss of former AFL-CIO president Richard L. Trumka.

“Conquering these challenges will not be easy, but the Executive Committee of the AFL-CIO chose wisely in electing Shuler and Redmond to lead America’s unions. Shuler and Redmond bring to the table proven leadership, grit, determination, and a deep understanding of the unique and complex needs of today’s working families. They will also usher in a new era in the American labor movement – one in which the experience and diversity of our leaders reflect the diverse backgrounds and skillsets of American workers.

“TTD and our 33 affiliated unions proudly stand with President Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Redmond. Together, we will continue fighting for policies that promote social and economic justice, create family-sustaining jobs and safe workplaces, and lift more people into the middle class.”

Union Plus:


United Steelworkers:

Working America Executive Director Matt Morrison:

“Today, the AFL-CIO Executive Council elected Liz Shuler (IBEW) as AFL-CIO President and Fred Redmond (USW) as Secretary-Treasurer, following the untimely passing of former AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka. Together with Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre (UFCW), the first immigrant to hold that position, Shuler, the first female president, and Redmond, the first African American Secretary-Treasurer, the historic and diverse leadership team will lead AFL-CIO forward. Former President Trumka observed that “there is something happening in America,” referring to the growing demand for justice and opportunity by working people. President Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Redmond vowed to continue that legacy, prioritizing workers’ rights, voting rights and protecting our democracy and planet. We congratulate newly elected President Liz Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond and thank Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre for his continuing leadership.”

Writers Guild of America, East:

The Animation Guild (IATSE):

Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams:

“Liz has been on the forefront of the fight for workers’ rights in the United States. I’m proud to have worked with Liz throughout the years, and her leadership through these challenging times as Secretary-Treasurer and Acting President of the AFL-CIO has shown that she has the knowledge, passion, and experience to lead. I look forward to working with my dear friend and fellow IBEW member as we continue to stand up for America’s working families. I’d also like to congratulate Fred Redmond on his election as Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO and have the utmost confidence that he will excel in the position. With the election of Shuler and Redmond, and along with Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, this is the most diverse leadership team in our organization’s history.”

Georgia AFL-CIO President Charlie Flemming:

“Today, the American labor movement made history with the AFL-CIO Executive Council Election of President Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond and International Vice President Tefere Gebre. Liz is the first woman to hold this position, and together the three leaders make up the most diverse leadership team in AFL-CIO history. The Georgia AFL-CIO extends its congratulations to Liz, Fred and Tefere on their elections.

“Our movement is at a crossroads—our future of work is rapidly changing, income inequality is increasing, and our political opponents are working harder than ever to strip workers of their right to fair wages, benefits, and safety on the job. Liz is the leader we need at this moment. We’ve seen what she can do from her years of experience as AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and in the IBEW. We know she will bring new, innovative ideas to the table and are looking forward to working with her and her team.”

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber:

“On behalf of the hard working families across Michigan, we congratulate longtime trade unionist Liz Shuler on her election as the next President of the AFL-CIO. This leadership team—a first woman President and first African American Secretary-Treasurer, reflects the great diversity and strength of our growing labor movement. The Michigan AFL-CIO looks forward to working with President Shuler to pass the PRO Act, protect workers rights on the job, and build a better life for working folks across our state.”

New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett:

“The New Hampshire AFL-CIO extends its congratulations to AFL-CIO President Shuler on her historic election as the first woman to lead the federation. The Executive Council made a great choice. Liz was a real partner to RichardTrumka and I’m sure she’ll lead the AFL-CIO with the same strength and wisdom that Rich did. Liz’s election gives us the opportunity to keep the labor movement moving forward and I’m eager to keep working with her.”

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO congratulates Elizabeth H. Shuler on her election as the first woman president of the National AFL-CIO, and Fred Redmond as the first African American to serve as secretary-treasurer.

The National AFL-CIO Executive Council on Friday, August 20, elected Acting President and Secretary-Treasurer Shuler, an IBEW sister, to complete the term of Richard L. Trumka, who passed away on August 5. Redmond, the international vice president for human affairs of the United Steelworkers, will complete Shuler’s term as secretary-treasurer. Both terms continue until June 2022, the next scheduled election of national officers. New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech, a National AFL-CIO Executive Council member, voted in full support of the Shuler-Redmond team.

“Liz Shuler is making history once again,” President Wowkanech said, noting that in 2009 President Shuler was the first woman elected secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO. “Whether she was at the negotiating table or on the picket line, she has always displayed her lifelong commitment to excellence and activism. And her record of strong, progressive and compassionate leadership for every sector of labor promises stability for our movement and for every working family in America.

“Fred Redmond, likewise, is making history,” President Wowkanech said. “He battled economic insecurity and protected voting rights in his position with the Steelworkers, and he is recognized as a titan in the civil rights movement.

“President Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Redmond are fully focused on the importance of organizing, which will create jobs for the future, especially in the emerging green economy,” President Wowkanech said.

“Liz Shuler’s election today brings a transformative perspective to the presidency,” New Jersey State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan said. “She is committed to empowering union women, as she demonstrated time and time again through her support of our WILD (Women in Leadership Development) Conferences. And she is committed to diversity and equality, to young workers, and to eliminating the income inequality that threatens the American dream for far too many people.”

“The New Jersey State AFL-CIO wishes President Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Redmond tremendous success,” President Wowkanech said, “especially as they continue to advocate for passage of the PRO Act, which is being renamed the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize Act to honor his legacy. America’s workers deserve these protections, and we know Liz and Fred will fight for them.”

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento:

“On behalf of the 2.5 million members of the New York State AFL-CIO, I applaud the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO for voting to elect Liz Shuler as President to serve out the remainder of Richard Trumka’s term,” said Mario Cilento, president of the NYS AFL-CIO.

“We have worked closely with Liz as a state federation on several of the labor movement’s priority issues over the years as she served in her role as Secretary-Treasurer. She is a proven leader with the experience and drive we need to move us forward.

“We proudly celebrate this historic moment as Liz becomes the first woman president of the AFL-CIO and newly elected Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond becomes the first African American to hold the number two office.

“We look forward to working with both leaders to further labor’s agenda and enhance the lives of working people in this country,” Cilento added.

North Carolina State AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan:

Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor:

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

“Today, Liz Shuler has cemented her well-deserved place in labor history following her election as the first woman president of the AFL-CIO. For the past 12 years, she has been a powerful force for change on multiple issues at the national level, including the clean energy economy, empowering women and young workers, and much more. Liz has fully dedicated herself to ensuring that all working families know the benefits of having a union voice on the job, and we are confident that she is the person to lead the AFL-CIO’s 12.5 million members into the future at a critical time for the labor movement.

“We are equally optimistic and enthusiastic about the election of Fred Redmond as the federation’s new secretary-treasurer. A proud and active United Steelworkers (USW) member for nearly 50 years, he has spent a great deal of time on several important initiatives, including protecting voting rights from extremist attacks and combating economic inequality. His steady, consistent leadership is already well-known throughout the USW and will be an asset to the AFL-CIO.

“Former President Richard Trumka’s goal was to build an economy and society that lifts up all workers and every community, and we are confident in the ability of these new leaders to carry on his legacy. We congratulate President Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Redmond wholeheartedly on their new roles and look forward to seeing their impact on working families, both in Tennessee and across the country.”

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy:

“The Texas AFL-CIO congratulates Liz Shuler and Fred Redmond on their elections to the top positions at the AFL-CIO,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said. “We have been blessed to get to know both these trail-blazing leaders.”

“We have counted Liz Shuler as a close friend during her time as Secretary-Treasurer,” Levy said. “We have marched and advocated on Texas streets with Liz in the cause of a fair shot for all Texans. When Hurricane Harvey struck, it was Liz Shuler who came to Texas and brought national resources to help working families whose lives had been turned upside-down. Liz believes, as do we, that when we change Texas, we will change the U.S., and when we change the U.S., we will change the world.”

“Fred Redmond has graced our Convention with his powerful oratory and we knew of him before that through his friendship in the Steelworkers with the late Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick. Fred is a standout advocate for civil rights and racial justice who always connects those topics to economic inequality and the sorry state of labor rights.”

“In this time of transition,” Levy said, “we are very heartened that our Brother Tefere Gebre will retain his leadership role as Executive Vice President. Tefere’s vision of the labor movement resonates with our own, and we will continue to look to him to guide our work.”

“The Texas AFL-CIO looks forward to building a bigger, bolder, broader labor movement with all of these outstanding leaders.”

Virginia AFL-CIO President Doris Crouse-Mays:

“Liz Shuler has always been an advocate for working people in Virginia. We can always count on her to move the working men and women forward towards a brighter, bolder, and safer future. Fred Redmond has taken USW to new heights, and I know he will bring a strong voice and new ideas to the AFL-CIO. We are so proud and excited to get started and empower our unions and our members with President Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Redmond.”

Central Florida AFL-CIO:

Cincinnati AFL-CIO:

Metro Washington DC Labor Council President Dyana Forester:

“Today the American labor movement made history with the AFL-CIO Executive Council election of AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, the first woman to ever lead the federation. In the weeks following the death of Richard Trumka, Liz has stepped up with the utmost grace and bravery in the most difficult of circumstances.

“Women and people of color have long been excluded from leadership positions in this movement. But today’s election is a pivotal step forward in the right direction, a landmark moment that I know not only serves as an inspiration for myself, but to countless young women across the country. We are confident in Liz’s ability to pilot us forward as our future of work evolves. Her passion for organizing tech workers, bringing justice for gig workers, and building a new green economy are what we need right now to build a positive future for our movement.

“Liz is also a DC resident and understands firsthand the importance of DC statehood. We are excited to work together with her on this fight, so that someday the District’s tens of thousands of union members can have the representation in Congress they deserve.”

National Education Association President Becky Pringle:

U.S. President Joe Biden:

U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi:

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh:

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg:

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

Kenneth Quinnell
Mon, 08/23/2021 – 11:12

Updated: August 31, 2021 — 8:51 am