Saint Louis, Mo. — The Missouri AFL-CIO elected new leadership today following the retirement of state federation President Hugh McVey after leading the organization for more than 18 years.
The Executive Board of one of the state’s most powerful labor organizations elected Mike Louis, who was serving as Secretary-Treasurer, to fill the remaining months of McVey’s term until new officer elections in September. While it is not something typically formally announced, Louis has told The Missouri Times he hopes to be elected to the post for a new term when elections are held in the fall.
“It is with pride and conviction that I accept this office and take the oath to defend the workers of Missouri at such a critical time,” Louis said in a statement. “We have seen the well-funded and relentless attacks on the freedom of working people to come together to make a better life for themselves and their families. It is time to stop the agenda of ALEC and other well-funded special interest groups that would damage our education, fair taxation and limit worker’s rights. I look forward to working with all of labor, responsible employers and the legislators who share in our concerns for preserving the middle class here in Missouri.”
Replacing Louis as the veritable second-in-command at the organization will be Rep. Jacob Hummel, currently minority leader in Missouri’s House of Representatives. Hummel, a longtime union member, has served as a vocal advocate for labor during floor debates on issues like so-called Right-to-Work and Paycheck Protection legislation.
Some members have expressed trepidation to The Missouri Times about the party’s leader in the lower chamber being on union payroll. Hummel was not immediately available for comment on his future in leadership, and no other Democrats have formally announced intentions to challenge Hummel for the post. Hummel said he was very proud to take on the new role.
“Working together as a labor movement is the only way we can stand up to the extremists who put our middle class at risk to reward the CEOs who have been shipping Missouri jobs overseas,” Hummel said in a statement.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.