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ATU Helps Strengthen Central Labor Councils Through Innovative AFL-CIO Commission

As a Commissioner of the AFL-CIO’s Commission on Innovation to Strengthen State, Area, and Local Central Bodies, International President John Costa has been playing a key role in the Commission’s critical work to modernize state federations and central labor councils. These bodies play an important role in supporting our Union, the labor movement, and workers in politics, community engagement, and organizing across the U.S.

As part of this work, Costa has joined with fellow Commissioners to conduct sites to Central Labor Councils and State Labor Federations in Trenton, NJ, Sacramento, CA, and Charlotte, NC


New Jersey State AFL-CIO

Costa attended the Commission’s first site visit to his home state’s New Jersey State AFL-CIO.

A longtime ally of the ATU, New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkanech and New Jersey State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan cohosted the Commission. Also in attendance were ATU International Vice President Ray Greaves and ATU New Jersey State Council Chair, and NJ State AFL-CIO Executive Board Member Orlando Riley.


Sacramento, Central Labor Council

The second visit was in Sacramento, CA, where Costa met with Sacramento CLC Executive Director Fabrizio Sasso and California Labor Federation AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez, who cohosted the Commission. Also in attendance were International Vice President Jim Lindsay and Local 256-Sacramento, CA, President/Business Agent Crystal McGee Lee.

After the meeting, Costa had the opportunity to meet with the Local 256 Executive Board, California Assembly Member Laura Friedman, and California Assembly Member Eloise Gomez Reyes. He also visited with Local 256 members on the job working for the Sacramento Regional Transit District Light Rail.


North Carolina AFL-CIO

Costa’s next stop was Charlotte, NC, where the Commission met with the North Carolina AFL-CIO, hosted by North Carolina AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan and the state federation’s executive board members. The Commission also heard from Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Braxton Winston, also a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 322 in Charlotte, NC.

Also in attendance were ATU International Vice Presidents Anthony Garland and Amanda Sawyer-Turner, Local 128-Asheville, NC, President/Business Agent Albert Maybin, Local 1328-Raleigh, NC, President/Business Agent Michael General, Local 1493-Raleigh, NC, President/Business Agent Percival Patterson and Terrence Dewberry, Local 1328- Raleigh, NC.