Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council

President's Message

On Wednesday, May 18th, the members of the Tennessee AFL-CIO Excutive Board and Committee on Political Education (COPE) voted to endorse the following candidates ahead of the August 4th Primary Election. Please note that additions will likely be made ahead of the General Election.

U.S. House of Representatives, District 2: Mark Harmon

U.S. House of Representatives, District 5: Heidi Campbell

U.S. House of Representatives, District 7: Odessa Kelly

U.S. House of Representatives, District 9: Steve Cohen

Legislative Updates

Just over a week ago, the 112th Tennessee General Assembly adjourned sine die. In the span of roughly four months, the Republican supermajority once again proved that it is strongly anti-worker and used multiple pieces of legislation to do this. From attempts to manage matters that should be left up to private businesses and their employees, to repeated attacks on the productive, longstanding relationship between Ford and the UAW, legislators were not afraid to go after working families at what felt like every opportunity.
Even though we indicated in our most recent recap that there likely wouldn't be an update sent out due to the holiday weekend, we decided that there was too much important information to share to go a full two weeks without a summary of where things stand at the legislature.

The biggest issue that we'll be watching this week is the official start of the discussion on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. As a reminder, if nothing else, this is the one task that lawmakers are constitutionally obligated to complete every year.

Take Action

The Building a Better America plan puts working families first by solving problems we face every day. 

The Ukrainian people are in grave danger, fighting for their lives as Russians attack innocent civilians. Donate now to support Ukrainian labor organizations providing on-the-ground assistance through the International Trade Union Confederation.


National News

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

Our brother and leader Richard Trumka passed away on August 5, 2021, at the age of 72.

Liz Shuler is the first woman ever elected president of the AFL-CIO.

She took over a time when the world of work has been turned upside down.

Union organizing is happening in some unexpected places, and sometimes in ways that disrupt the traditional union playbook.

LABOR PRESS: You’ve been given such a huge responsibility now, with the death of your friend Rich Trumka [In August she was appointed to serve the remainder of his term.] But the entire time you’ve been involved, labor has been struggling to come back. Do you have a secret plan? What can the AFL-CIO do to rebuild the labor movement?

It was deeply disappointing that just days after our nation paid homage to the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday, the same senators who praised his name struck down critical legislation that would have strengthened our election systems and ensured every American has the fundamental right to vote.

"We are building pathways and support structures to grow a bold, inclusive, and transformative movement — I think that's pretty badass," says Shuler, the first woman elected president of the AFL-CIO in the labor federation's history.