Yesterday evening, delegates to the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention elected the three top officers of the national AFL-CIO. The leadership team includes President Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, and newly elected Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO wholeheartedly believes that the Trumka, Shuler, Gebre team has the commitment, dedication, and vision to strengthen the national labor movement for our generation and for generations to come.
From his days as a coal miner in Pennsylvania, President Trumka has fought tirelessly on behalf of workers. As a union leader in the UMWA and as both Secretary-Treasurer and President of the national AFL-CIO, he has upheld the principle that we must carry on the legacy of our parents and grandparents, who enabled us to build a future for ourselves and our family through our unions.
Secretary-Treasurer Shuler, whose career began with the electrical workers in Oregon, has brought an innovative and fresh perspective to the national AFL-CIO. During her first term as Secretary-Treasurer, she worked to strengthen the AFL-CIO’s finances through transparency and accountabilty. She also worked to develop and launch a program to engage young workers in the labor movement and is leading efforts to redefine the public’s perception of unions.
Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, a member of UFCW and IBEW, and former LIUNA Director of Governmnet Relations, most recently served as the Executive Director of the Orange County Labor Federation in California. At age 14, Gebre walked across the African desert from his native Ethiopia to a refugee camp in Sudan to escape the horrors of war and a brutal military governement. His long journey led him to Los Angeles and to fulfilling the promise of America that millions aspire to achieve everyday.
While Trumka, Shuler, and Gebre may have different backgrounds, they provide a good representation of the diversity of our nation’s workforce and the need to unite across the progressive community to advance our common goal of social and economic justice.