President's Message

LiUNA AA Caucus Participates in AFL-CIO's MLK Day 2018 in Houston, Texas

LIUNA LAAC Participates in 2018 AFL CIO MLK Conference in Houston, TX


The Hilton -Americas and George R. Brown Convention Center were the backdrops for the 2018 AFL CIO Martin Luther King Conference in Houston, TX, January 12-15, 2018.  Over thirty-five LIUNA members attended the conference including LIUNA Vice Presidents John Penn and Robert E. Richardson.  The African American Caucus used the group opportunity to host its executive board meeting prior to the conference opening.

This year’s theme - Reclaiming the Dream: Strategize, Organize, Mobilize! focused on advancing Labor’s economic policy and advocacy agenda connected to the modern day civil rights movement.    Several LIUNA members were intricately involved in the success of the conference participating as panel members in three separate workshops:

  • Mike Aaron, Local 1191, Detroit, MI and Lavon Chambers, NY LECET both highlighted programs they are involved in on the Criminal Justice Reform Panel.  

  • Ryan Boyer, Philadelphia and Vicinity District Council, facilitated a workshop on Infrastructure. 

  • Dionne McDaniel, LIUNA Strategic Communications Department, participated in a Political Bootcamp panel on Right to Work/Janus. 

LIUNA LAAC members along with other conference attendees gave back to the Houston community during the MLK Day of Service.  Members bagged items and distributed food to the community along with Congressman Al Green at Bethel Family Church.  Other members replaced sheetrock at two hurricane damaged homes in Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee’s district. All enjoyed the various opportunities to commemorate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as they forged new innovative ways to build political power in 2018 and beyond.  

LiUNA! AA Caucus Participates in MLK Day 2017

LiUNA! Vice President and Minority Advancement Dept., Director Robert E. Richardson,Sr., LiUNA! AA Caucus Board Member Donna McDaniel Mitchell and several LiUNA! headquarter staff participated in the AFL CIO 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance in Washington, DC.  This year the observance centered around a luncheon fundraiser to assist in financing future MLK Conferences.  Due to rising conference costs, the AFL will now hold the MLK Conference bi-annually. 

The 2017 MLK Holiday weekend presented an opportunity for AFL CIO affiliates, constituency groups and partners to discuss the most important economic policy issues that lie at the intersection of race and class. On Friday, January 13, 2017, a policy and advocacy summit addressed issues that affect workers like healthcare, tax reform, immigration and how communities of color are most impacted.

Dr. King’s legacy was honored through culture, song, food and celebration of honorees at a church service and luncheon on Sunday, January 15, 2017.  The luncheon theme was, The Struggle is Free, But the Dream Must be Televised.  LiUNA! and LiUNA!’s OVSS Region were both community sponsors of the event.  The honoree’s were:

At the River I Stand: UFCW President Marc Perrone and USW VP Fred Redmond

Defender of the Dream: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

Justice, Peace and Freedom: Jussie Smollett (Actor), Mike de la Rocha (Revolve Impact), Carmen Perez (The Gathering for Justice)

Drum Major for Justice Lifetime Achievement: Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Pierette “Petee” Talley

UnSung Hero Award: People United for the Justice for the Bazta Arapio Campaign (AZ) – (LiUNA supported this campaign and VP Richardson was asked to join all supporters of the campaign on the stage to receive recognition.)

On MLK Day, January 16, 2017, members of LiUNA joined the DC Urban League, Howard University students and several other social justice groups at the New Bethel Baptist Church in their efforts to provide blankets, food, toiletries and resources to those experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C.

Many other LiUNA! AA Caucus members participated in meaningful MLK activities in their local areas across the country to make a concerted impact of service to those in need. The LiUNA! African American Caucus looks forward to actively participating in the 2018 AFL CIO MLK Conference activities and community service projects.

LIUNA Vice President Robert E. Richardson. Sr. receives the "Robert Vaughn Laborer of the Year Award"


LIUNA Vice President Robert E Richardson, Sr. received the “Robert Vaughn Laborer of the Year Award” at the 18th Annual UFCW Minority Coalition Gala.

The event was held on November 19, 2016 at the Washington Marriott Renaissance Hotel


Don Cash (UFCW Minority Coalition Founder & President),

Robert Richardson (LIUNA Vice President),

Terry M. O’Sullivan (LIUNA General President)

 After 13 years as Founder and President of the Tacoma APRI Chapter, LiUNA African American Caucus Vice President Grover Johnson steps down.
Brother Grover Johnson was the first President of the APRI - Tacoma Chapter (2003 - 2016)
His vision, energy and inspirational leadership sparked the creation of this local chapter and grew it into what it is today. During his time at the helm he led these initiatives:
  • Established a youth chapter and summer school program
  • Served as a mentor, positive role model and inspiration for their summer school students
  • Provided the youth with information on pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities
  • Launched their annual awards banquet
  • Began the chapter's Annual Pastor's Breakfast
  • Started the chapter's participation in Ethnic Fest, voter registration and African American Legislative Day in Olympia
  • Tirelessly fundraised and promoted the chapter to labor, faith and community groups
Well done brother Grover. As always .... you make us proud!

N.J. NAACP bestows the 2016 Excellence in Leadership Award to LAAC Secretary-Treasurer Carl E. Styles

The New Jersey State NAACP gave this award to Carl "in recognition of his exemplary work ethic, as well as his commitment and dedication that are consistent with the mission of the NAACP; to ensure political, educational, social and economic justice for all people".

It is the NAACP's stance that Carl has used his position in union leadership to enhance the strength of the community and given unselfishly to improve opportunities and provide pathways to success for so many others.