Has The AFL-CIO’s Trumka Been Trying To Install A Hand-Picked Successor?

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

AFL-CIO Boss Richard Trumka was reportedly polling union presidents to determine whether they would back his hand-picked successor.

AFL-CIO Is Anti-Union from LaborUnionReport.com on Vimeo.

For a while now, there has been a lot of internal-union controversy surrounding AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka—from his alleged anti-union treatment of AFL-CIO staff and his controversial suspension of AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre to the accusations from former AFL-CIO staffers that he his ‘arrogant’ and ‘ineffective.’

By all appearances, it seems as though Trumka’s days heading the nation’s largest federation of unions may be numbered.

The question is, will Trumka “retire” early, or will he last until the federation’s next convention in 2021?

According to a report in the Guardian, it appears that, if Trumka could retire early, he would—but only if he could ensure that his hand-picked successor, Liz Shuler, would take the helm…and that is not likely to happen.

“Two top union leaders who insisted on anonymity said that early this year Trumka and Shuler were asking various union presidents whether they would support Shuler to be the AFL-CIO’s next president. These officials said Trumka, the AFL-CIO’s head since 2009, appeared at the time to be considering stepping down within a few months to make way for Shuler, but only if there were strong support for her in the federation’s 55-member executive council, which is composed largely of union presidents.”

“AFL-CIO officials insist that Trumka, 69, has no plans to step down before the federation’s convention in 2021. Several officials said Trumka dropped the idea of resigning early after the presidents of three large unions representing nearly half the AFL-CIO’s 9 million union members indicated they were not prepared to support Shuler – or anyone else at this point. Those three presidents were Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers, Lee Saunders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and Marc Perrone of the United Food and Commercial Workers.”

Right now, the likely candidates to replace Trumka are either his preferred-candidate Shuler, or Sara Nelson, who is president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

Of course, by the AFL-CIO’s next convention–which follows the 2020 Presidential election–a different candidate may be the federation’s frontrunner.



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