Council elects three replacement members

CHICAGO (PAI)--The AFL-CIO Executive Council elected three new members on August 5, slightly expanding its female membership while seeing the number of African-Americans decline by one. Named to the council were new American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Theatrical and Stage Employees President Matthew Loeb, and School Administrators President Jill Levy.

Levy and Weingarten, both from New York City, succeed retiring presidents Ed McElroy (AFT) and Baxter Anderson (School Administrators). AFT Executive Vice-President Nat LaCour, who also retired from the union last month, also left the executive council. Anderson and LaCour are African-American and their departure leaves the number of African-Americans on the council at eight.

Adding Levy and Weingarten brings the number of female council members to 11, a gain of two. Both figures include AFL-CIO Executive Vice-President Arlene Holt-Baker, who is a black woman. Last year, she replaced Linda Chavez-Thompson in the post. With her departure, there are no Hispanics on the council.

The AFL-CIO’s goal, with a deadline of its convention in Las Vegas in November 2009, is that leadership of the union movement should look more like its membership. Labor Department data for 2006, the latest year available, show 45% of unionists are women, 14% are African-American and 12% are Hispanic. The figures cover all unions.