IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson issued the following statement on the election of Liz Shuler as AFL-CIO President.
Shuler got her start with IBEW Local 125 in Portland, Ore.
“Liz Shuler is the leader the American Labor Movement needs. As an experienced and dedicated trade unionist, Liz brings both compassion and a fierce commitment to advancing the cause of working people to the job of AFL-CIO President.
“I’ve known Liz a long time, both as an IBEW leader and as a friend. She grew up in an IBEW household, making the decision to become a union activist at an early age. From helping organize her co-workers to leading the fight to beat Enron and efforts to deregulate Oregon’s energy industry, Liz brought a unique energy and determination to this union.
“She gave so much to the IBEW, and for more than a decade, she has brought her skills, experience, and leadership to the national Labor Movement.
“And as the first woman to serve as AFL-CIO president, Liz is uniquely positioned to help build a genuinely diverse and inclusive Labor Movement, which is more important than ever to Labor’s future growth and power. With the election of United Steelworkers International Vice President Fred Redmond as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the office, and Tefere Gebre continuing as executive vice president, this is the most diverse AFL-CIO leadership team in history.
“Poll after poll shows that most Americans support unions. They want an economy that rewards work, not wealth, and understands that collective bargaining and a union is the best way to do that. I am more confident than ever that, under Sister Shuler’s steady leadership, the unions that make up the AFL-CIO will succeed in building a bigger, stronger and more powerful Labor Movement.”