Person

Liz Schuler

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Secretary-Treasurer, American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

Executive Vice President:

Alliance for Retired Americans

Elizabeth H. Shuler is an American labor union official and, since September 16, 2009, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO. She is a career union activist, having started her career as a local union organizer and political director for a local of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Due to her position with the AFL-CIO, Shuler sits on a number of boards of left-labor activist groups including Alliance for Retired Americans, the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, and the Working for America Institute.

Union Career

Elizabeth H. Shuler is an American labor activist and, since September 16, 2009, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, one of the union federation’s top three executive positions. She is the first woman and the youngest person to hold the position of secretary-treasurer. [1]

Shuler started her career early on as a political activist and local union organizer, where she began pushing left-progressive labor initiatives including environmentalist jobs programs. [2]

In 1997, as the state legislative and political director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125, Shuler lobbied against a bill to deregulate the electricity market in Oregon. [3]

At the AFL-CIO, Shuler chairs the Executive Council Committee on Finance, and serves on the board of the Housing Investment Trust, as well as the Women’s Committee of the International Trade Union Confederation. [4]

Shuler leads the AFL-CIO’s initiative to recruit younger workers, women, immigrants, and people of color into unions, by attempting to show that there is diversity in the labor movement. [5] Shuler served as the former head of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)’s Education Fund’s Young Leaders Council, in an effort to engage with and recruit people under 35 to unions. [6]

Speaking Engagements

Shuler was a panelist at the 2009 National Asian Pacific American Workers’ Rights Hearing, an event sponsored by APALA, the AFL-CIO, and other pro-union organizations. Workers who spoke at this hearing, largely immigrants, claimed to be exploited, and to be struggling for the right to become a union member. [7]

Shuler was also a panelist at APALA’s 11th biennial convention. Held in 2011, the convention was themed “Generations United: Our Jobs, Our Rights, Our Future!,” and focused on engaging youth, and highlighting immigration within the labor movement. Other speakers at this event included union officials including Lee Saunders, Mary Kay Henry, and Art Pulaski. [8]

In 2010, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Shuler was awarded the Transforming America Award by Demos,[9] a left-wing public policy advocacy group that favors and advocates for a staunchly liberal agenda. [10]

Shuler was a featured panelist at the 2010 “Labor, the Left and the Obama Era” discussion hosted by the Kalmanovitz Initiative, Dissent magazine, The Nation, and the American Prospect. Other panelists at this event included left-wing author Barbara Ehrenreich, liberal MSNBC talk-show host Chris Hayes, labor-unionist writer Harold Meyerson, Gerry Hudson, and Michael Kazin. [11]

Shuler has been a featured speaker at Netroots Nation,[12] an annual convention that amplifies the efforts of liberal bloggers and online activists. [13]

Shuler promotes and supports women in politics by serving on the boards of the Women’s Campaign Fund, and Women’s Policy, Inc., and is a former volunteer for the International Women’s Democracy Center. [14]

References

  1. “Alliance Leadership.” Alliance for Retired Americans, 2019. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://retiredamericans.org/alliance-leadership-schuler/. ^
  2. “Liz Shuler.” Netroots Nation, 2017. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/elizabeth-shuler/. ^
  3. “Alliance Leadership.” Alliance for Retired Americans, 2019. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://retiredamericans.org/alliance-leadership-schuler/. ^
  4. “Liz Shuler.” Netroots Nation, 2017. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/elizabeth-shuler/. ^
  5. “Liz Shuler.” The Aspen Institute, 2020. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/our-people/liz-shuler/. ^
  6. APALA Education Fund Launches Young Leaders Council; Council Demonstrates Commitment to Educating and Empowering Young People in Labor.” Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, February 29, 2012. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.apalanet.org/press-releases/apala-education-fund-launches-young-leaders-council-council-demonstrates-commitment-to-educating-and-empowering-young-people-in-labor. ^
  7. Webb, Susan. “Asian Pacific American Worker Hearing Hailed as Labor Milestone.” People’s World, November 17, 2009. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/asian-pacific-american-worker-hearing-hailed-as-labor-milestone/. ^
  8. Fan, Caroline. “APALA Unites Generations of Activists in Largest, Liveliest Convention Ever.” California Labor Federation, August 11, 2011. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://calaborfed.org/apala_unites_generations_of_activists_in_largest_liveliest_convention_ever/. ^
  9. “Demos 10: Transformers.” Newman Ferrara LLP, April 29, 2010. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.nyrealestatelawblog.com/manhattan-litigation-blog/2010/april/demos-10-transformers/. ^
  10. “Demos.” Discover the Networks, 2020. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/organizations/demos. ^
  11. “Labor, the Left and the Obama Era.” Georgetown University, April 6, 2010. Accessed February 20, 2020. http://lwp.georgetown.edu/2010/04/06/labor-the-left-and-the-obama-era/. ^
  12. “Liz Shuler.” Netroots Nation, 2017. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/elizabeth-shuler/. ^
  13. “About.” Netroots Nation, 2017. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.netrootsnation.org/about/. ^
  14. “Alliance Leadership.” Alliance for Retired Americans, 2019. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://retiredamericans.org/alliance-leadership-schuler/. ^
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