President Woodard Joins with Fellow AFL-CIO Leaders for Executive Council Meeting

Article 10_Image 2As a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, President Diann Woodard met with fellow council members July 24-26 in Washington, D.C. where the primary goal of the meeting was to prepare recommendations, propose resolutions and set the stage for action at the upcoming quadrennial AFL-CIO convention in September.

Selected to serve on several key committees for the convention, including Chair of the Rules committee, President Woodard was in meetings throughout the week focusing on critical issues for the future of the AFL-CIO such as how to build a diverse movement that is inclusive of all workers and how to engage young workers.

As Vice-Chair of the Executive Council committee on Women Workers, Woodard took part in discussions led by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker, and Rep. Linda Sanchez, which focused on solutions for empowering women and looking at what efforts in the working women movement have been most effective at the national, state and local levels.

The meeting included a visit from Tom Perez, the new U.S. Secretary of Labor on his second day in office. Perez declared that the mission and role of the Department of Labor has never been greater, and that partnerships will be key to protecting workers’ rights.

Additionally, AFL-CIO Vice President Arlene Holt Baker announced her plans to retire at the September convention while AFL-CIO President Trumka announced that Tefere Gebre will run as a candidate for Executive Vice President in elections at the upcoming convention. Tefere currently serves as executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation of the AFL-CIO, representing more than 90 local unions with a membership of more than 200,000 working men and women.

Calling for social and economic justice for communities of color, the Executive Council declared its devotion to leading the way and initiating conversations about race to ensure that a tragedy such as the Trayvon Martin case will not happen again. In an official statement, the executive council said:

“We shall encourage our national affiliates and our state and local bodies to participate fully in a dialogue with our partners
and allies and work diligently to support policies at the federal, state and local level that eliminate discrimination, profiling and violence and to denounce Stand Your Ground laws that are advanced by the anti-worker, pro-voter suppression American Legislative Exchange Council.”

The Executive Council also deliberated on and passed a statement in support of the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) which requires large retailers to pay workers a living wage of $12.50 an hour, and also a statement in support of Detroit’s workers and retirees, warning against using Detroit’s bankruptcy filing as a tool to “impoverish city of Detroit workers or retirees.”

“There was a tremendous amount of valuable conversation on issues we cannot afford to turn our backs on at this point in time,” said Woodard. “I look forward to September’s convention.”