CT AFL-CIO Elect Ed Hawthorne & Shellye Davis as New Leaders

Delegates to the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s fourteenth biennial Constitutional Convention unanimously elected Ed Hawthorne (AFSCME) as President and Shellye Davis (AFT) as Executive Vice President today.

Nearly 250 union members from 25 different international unions participated in the convention, which directs the work of the labor federation. In addition to electing Hawthorne and Davis, delegates elected Keri Hoehne (UFCW) as First Vice President, Keith Brothers (LIUNA) as General Vice President, and Tiana Ocasio (IUOE) as Executive Secretary.

“Thank you for this honor and bestowing your trust in me,” Hawthorne told delegates following his election. “Working on your behalf as the President of Connecticut AFL-CIO is a dream come true. Have no doubt that Shellye and I will work tirelessly every day to ensure your members achieve the American Dream.”

Hawthorne, a member and Vice President of AFSCME Local 269, worked as a hearing officer for the Connecticut Department of Labor. He currently serves as President of Western Connecticut Area Labor Federation and was a member of the Connecticut AFL-CIO Executive Board prior to his election as President.

Davis is the first Black woman to be elected as the second officer of the state federation.

After noting the historic nature of her election, Davis said, “While that’s important, we must continue to raise the bar. I am happy to be on this journey with Ed. Together we are ready to be your advocates and hear your voice.”

Davis is a paraeducator with over 25 years of experience in public education and decades of experience in organized labor. Currently, Davis serves as President for Hartford Federation of Paraeducators (HFP) Local 2221 of the American Federation of Teachers, President of the Eastern Connecticut Area Labor Federation, and AFT Connecticut Vice President for Paraprofessionals and School Related Personnel.

Sal Luciano, the immediate past president, retired at the conclusion of the convention. He served as the President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO for three years. Previously, Luciano served as the state federation’s Executive Vice President and was also the Executive Director of AFSCME Council 4 for seventeen years.

In addition to electing new officers and executive board members, delegates passed numerous resolutions that will direct and focus the work of organized labor.

One that will set the tone for their agenda for several years to come was a recommitment to working with the Recovery For All coalition to reduce racial and economic inequality in Connecticut. Another resolution made establishing comprehensive indoor air quality standards and enforcement mechanisms in all workplaces a priority for the labor federation.

The convention concluded with a presentation of awards to workers that newly organized in the last two years. Workers at twenty-seven different workplaces joined together in union and joined AFT Connecticut, AFSCME Council 4, ATU Local 1336, IATSE Local 74, IBEW Local 420, IUOE Local 30, SEIU Local 1199NE, UAW Local 2110, UFCW Local 371, UFCW Local 919, and USW Local 134L.

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