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AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler Attended GEB Meeting

Photo caption: International President Michael Loeb and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler meeting in Atlanta.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler was invited by President Loeb to attend the Mid-Winter General Executive Board meeting in Atlanta, GA as one of the keynote speakers. President Loeb stated that this was the first time in approximately nineteen years that an officer of the AFL-CIO has addressed an IATSE meeting.

Secretary-Treasurer Shuler, elected in 2009, is the first woman ever elected to the position and she also holds the distinction of being the youngest officer ever to sit on the Federation’s Executive Council. 

At the beginning of her remarks she stated that politics is center stage in today’s social climate.  She noted that we have a number of challenges facing labor and we must work together to overcome those challenges.

Shuler advised that the AFL-CIO has initiated a campaign to reposition the labor movement so that the general public and all working people can make a connection with each other.  She noted that a Repositioning Committee, on which President Loeb is a member, has been established to a) create an emotional connection, b) make existing claims stronger and take control of how unions are perceived, and c) bring about a new perspective of unions. Secretary-Treasurer Shuler explained that the Committee has established eight principles to steer the transformation of the way people see unions.

The AFL-CIO has created a television ad campaign to communicate the message that “Work Connects Us All”.  The pilot campaign has targeted three cities - Portland, Oregon, Austin, Texas and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Shuler also spoke about the AFL-CIO’s Young Workers’ Summit.  She noted that the youth is the future of the labor movement and young workers need to be educated about labor.  The AFL-CIO has established the Young Workers’ Institute and works to bring young workers into the fold by holding conferences and workshops to better communicate with younger union members through various means including social media outlets.

Under the guidance of President Loeb, the IATSE is an active participant in all of these AFL-CIO programs and initiatives.

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