KI Statement: AFL-CIO Election of Liz Shuler as President and Fred Redmond as Secretary-Treasurer

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The Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University congratulates the AFL-CIO leadership and members for today’s historic election of Liz Shuler as President of the AFL-CIO and Fred Redmond as Secretary-Treasurer. Together with Tefere Gebre as Executive Vice President, this new leadership team brings a powerful vision for the future, a rich background of experience, and a rock-solid commitment to building a better life for America’s working people and their communities. 

Shuler’s election as the first female president of the United States’ major  labor confederation is a remarkable achievement and represents a key historic moment for the U.S. union movement. Women make up nearly half of union membership today, and have routinely joined unions at a faster rate than men over the last forty years. In recent years, women have led some of the nation’s most impactful labor struggles, such as those among teachers and nurses, and have been disproportionately represented among essential workers most impacted by the pandemic. Shuler is a proven champion of all working people, and in her new role will help bring women squarely to the center of the labor’s movement’s future direction.

Redmond’s election as the first African-American Secretary-Treasurer is also a historic milestone.  Redmond is among the nation and globe’s foremost labor movement champions of civil and human rights. He has spent a lifetime fighting for racial, social and economic equality, and will bring his enormous level of commitment and wisdom to his new role. 

Today’s election is a major milestone for America’s working people and their organizations. We join in the heartfelt congratulations to the new leadership team, and look forward to working with them to  expand the labor movement at this historic juncture.


Contact Lily Ryan, lily.ryan[at]georgetown.edu.

View this statement as a PDF here.